Palm Misses Their Bluetooth Deadline
Palm has hitched their wagon to the Bluetooth star but they missed their own deadline to build Bluetooth into OS 4. Sometime after the release of OS 4 there will be an update to the OS to add full Bluetooth support.
There won't be any Palm handhelds with built-in Bluetooth hardware for a while, either. After the software support is ready, Palm intends to release a sled with its own processor, an RF module, and serial chipset that draws power from the Palm. This should be available in early 2002. Don't expect to see a Palm with built-in Bluetooth hardware until later in 2002.
Part of what is holding Bluetooth back is that the hardware costs haven't gone down as much as the Bluetooth SIG had hoped they would. They have a target cost of $10 for the hardware but currently cost at least $100 and most estimates have it in the $30 to $50 range by the end of 2001.
Even if Palm really got going on this and came in well ahead of expectations, there still aren't a lot of other devices to connect to. Windows won't support Bluetooth until the next major release, scheduled for next Fall. And we all know how good Microsoft is at meeting their own product release dates.
Palm is trying hard, though. They gave out Bluetooth developer kits at PalmSource 2000 this week and urged developers to start creating apps. Too bad there isn't much hardware to use them with.
Bluetooth wireless technology will let users connect a wide range of computing and telecommunications devices easily and simply, without cables. It delivers opportunities for rapid ad hoc connections, and the possibility of automatic, unconscious, connections between devices.
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