OS 4.1 Coming November 15
In confirmation of last week's rumor, Palm will be offering an upgrade to OS 4.1 on November 15. Registered users have been receiving an email offering the $40 upgrade at a $10 discount if ordered before the release. It appears at this point that Palm is not intending to post the upgrade online. Instead, customers are being offered free shipping for what is probably a CD. Pre-ordered upgrades will ship on Nov. 15. There will be an upgrade for most current models, though not all.
According to a Palm spokesperson, the upgrade to OS 4.1 will be free to current users of Palm OS 4.0 though Palm hasn't officially announced this.
This upgrade program is only for Palm-branded handhelds. Other licensees are responsible for releasing their own.
The older Palm models that can be upgraded to OS 4.1 include the whole V series, the Palm III, IIIx, IIIxe, and IIIc. The IIIe and m100 series do not have flashable ROM and the Palm VII series doesn't have enough room in its ROM for OS 4.1.
On November 15, the price will go to $40 and shipping will no longer be free. Customers can also call 1-800-881-7256 to order.
The new features in OS 4.1 for OS 3.5 users include the Mobile Connectivity Kit, which allows the handheld to connect to the Internet with a mobile phone. It also includes the Note Pad app for scribbling notes directly on the screen and improved alarm controls. The on-screen keyboard has also been improved.
Many of the new functions in OS 4 are hardware-related and won't affect older models that lack the hardware involved.
The only differences between Palm OS 4.0 and 4.1 are bug fixes.
Thanks to everyone who sent in tips on this story. -Ed
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