Palm (PDA)

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Palm handhelds are Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) which run the Palm OS. Palm devices have evolved from handhelds to smartphones which run Palm OS, WebOS, and Windows Mobile. This page describes the range of Palm devices, from the first generation of Palm machines known as the Pilot through to the latest models currently produced by Palm, Inc including their new Palm Pre line of consumer smartphones.

On 28 April 2010 it was announced that Hewlett-Packard would acquire Palm for around US$1.2bn.[1]



Initial development

Pilot was the name of the first generation of personal digital assistants manufactured by Palm Computing in 1996 (then a division of U.S. Robotics).

The prototype for the first Palm Connected Organizer was called "Palm Taxi". The first two generations of PDAs from Palm were referred to as "Palm-Pilots". Due to a trademark infringement lawsuit brought by the Pilot Pen Corporation, since 1998 [2] handheld devices from Palm have been known as Palm Connected Organizers or more commonly as "Palms". "Palm-Pilot" has entered the vernacular as a synonym for PDAs, regardless of the brand.

The inventors of the Pilot were Jeff Hawkins, Donna Dubinsky, and Ed Colligan, who founded Palm Computing. The original purpose of this company was to create handwriting recognition software for other devices, named Graffiti, but their research convinced them they could create better hardware as well. Before starting development of the Pilot, Hawkins said he carried a block of wood, the size of the potential Pilot, in his pocket for a week.[3] Palm was widely perceived to have benefited from the notable if ill-fated earlier attempts to create a popular handheld computing platform by Go Corporation and Apple Computer.

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