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Palms get boost from Yahoo!

Palm plans to bundle Yahoo! email and instant messaging services with many of its handheld devices

Users of Palm's handheld devices will now be able to access mail and send and receive instant messages from Yahoo!, under a deal announced today by the two companies. Yahoo!'s Mail and Messenger programs will be bundled later this year with Palm III, V and VII products, the companies said.

Yahoo! Mail is currently available for Palm VII users. Registered Yahoo! users will also be able to access an address book and download specialised content. This is the first handheld deal for Yahoo!, which said it will enhance its "Yahoo! Everywhere" strategy.

Yahoo! released the Palm version of its Messenger program last year. The company has also developed a version of the software for mobile phones and pagers. America Online (AOL) has also developed versions of its messaging and email programs for Palm users.

"The future of handheld computing will be tied very closely to the Internet," Palm chief operating officer, Barry Cottle, said in a release.

Palm made an impressive market debut earlier this month. The Palm initial public offering (IPO) opened at $145 (£89) a share on 2 March. After peaking at 165, Palm shares closed up 57 1/16 to 95 1/16. Shares of Palm closed at 55 1/4 on Monday.

The Yahoo! announcement is most likely just the beginning for a barrage of Palm news. Palm's 25-day IPO quiet period expires on Monday. The company will report earnings next Tuesday.

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