Handspring Releases New Version of Blazer

Handspring, Inc. today released a new version of Blazer, its Web browser for the Palm OS. Blazer is designed to provide handheld computers with fast access to a full range of Web content. Handspring will bundle Blazer with the VisorPhone as part of its new Wireless Internet Access Suite, a suite of applications for wireless e-mail, web browsing and messaging. They will also be selling Blazer for $20.

At the same time, Handspring has announced a $50 drop in the price of the VisorPhone. It is now selling for of $250 with a service plan or $450 when purchased separately.

Blazer offers support for color graphics, personalization, bookmarks, and strong security. It supports all major existing standards, optimizing HTML, WAP, and cHTML content for viewing on a handheld display. Blazer also supports access to secure web sites through encryption technology from Certicom.

Blazer runs on handhelds that use Palm OS 3.1 or higher including all models of the Visor, Sony Clié and Palm series III, V, M100 and M500.

People who already own the Handspring VisorPhone Springboard can get the browser for free from the Handspring website.

"The future of handheld computing is directly linked to fast and affordable wireless access to web-based information," said Ed Colligan, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Handspring. "Blazer is a consumer-friendly solution for wireless data access that makes sense for both personal and corporate use. We intend to continue on this path as the handheld computer becomes the primary device for wireless communications and access to the Internet."

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New Version?

porter @ 5/15/2001 11:58:45 AM #
I don't see anything on their site that indicates that they released a new version -- only that they're now charging 20 bucks for version 1.1, which was previously available for free. They went from v1.0 to v1.1 when Handspring bought Blazer in the first place.

Am I missing something that says v1.2 or higher?

RE: New Version?
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/15/2001 12:17:52 PM #
The previous version is beta version of v 1.1.

RE: New Version?
Ed @ 5/15/2001 12:18:25 PM #
The press release says this is a new version but doesn't specify what is new about it. Before I published this article I tried to find a list of enhancements but was unsuccessful. I've read all the articles on other sites and I can't find anything about new features.

I trust Handspring so I decided to take their word for it. If I hear of anything specific, I'll add it to the article.

News Editor
Palm Infocenter

RE: New Version?
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/17/2001 12:12:25 PM #
I got e-mailed this:

    We are contacting you to let you know that a new version of Blazer (Blazer 1.1) is now available. Blazer 1.1 includes many improvements over Blazer 1.0 such as:

    * Support for secure web sites
    * Support for 16-bit color and 8-bit grayscale
    * HTTP proxy support
    * Improved layout of text and graphics, particularly on handheld-friendly sites

    In order to continue using Blazer, you will need to upgrade to the new version by May 22, 2001. Support for Blazer 1.0 will be discontinued at that time and you will no longer be able to use the product. We apologize in advance for any inconvenience this may cause.

    How can I get Blazer 1.1?
    We are offering the browser free of charge to customers who purchase Handspring VisorPhone as part of the new Wireless Internet Access Suite. If you are using a different modem to connect to the Internet, you may purchase Blazer through our distribution partners, Handango and PalmGear for $19.95. Please visit http://www.handspring.com/software/blazer_purchase.jhtml for additional details on how to get the released version of Blazer.

    Will Blazer 1.0 still work?
    No, to continue using Blazer, you must get the released version. Blazer 1.0 will no longer work after May 22, 2001.

    Why is Handspring charging for Blazer?
    We know that some of you will be disappointed to learn that Blazer will no longer be free. However, as you may know, Handspring incurs real costs for each Blazer user, including network infrastructure and server hardware to run the proxy servers that adapt web and WAP content to your handheld screen. While we wanted to continue to offer this service free of charge, in the long run, we know that we can provide you with a better customer experience if we are able to cover our costs of the service.

    Still have questions?
    Please visit the Blazer section of the Handspring web site at
    http://www.handspring.com/software/blazer_overview.jhtml for additional details. To continue to receive updates about Blazer and other Handspring products, please sign up for our newsletter at https://www.handspring.com/newsletter (you just might win a new Visor Edge in the process!)

    The Blazer Product Team

Version 1.0

I.M. Anonymous @ 5/15/2001 8:16:51 PM #
Does anyone have version 1.0 they can send to me to demo. I hate to buy the 1.1 version and not like it. I did not see a demo link on their web site so I could not get it there. Thanks rsconner@ci.orem.ut.us

RE: Version 1.0
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/15/2001 11:04:18 PM #
It has 30-day money back guarantee

Visorphone - Still too $$$.

I.M. Anonymous @ 5/16/2001 10:18:14 AM #
Theres no way that people who already have service are going to buy this for $450... Especially when they can just get a Nokia 8290 and do net connectivity with IR to the Visor.

I would get one in a minute if the price was lower - say $200-$250 without an activation...


Shane @ 5/16/2001 4:37:12 PM #
I find it strange that Blazor is the number one Palm OS Internet browser and the home page is MSN. Handspring must have some thing big going on with Microsoft to do this. What will be next an Internet browser designed by microsoft for the Palm OS?


jerry @ 5/23/2001 7:02:29 PM #
Living in Atlanta, the Minstrel-like Omnisky products don't work. How's the range for the Palm 7x-like products? Like all over the US, W.Hemisphere, S.America? Does the H-S Blazer beat P7?


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