Palm buys Handspring

Palm announced today that it's buying PalmOS licensee Handspring for a cool $169 million in stock. Handspring was started back in 1998 by members of the original Palm Pilot team, so the buyout is a homecoming of sorts.

Apparently, both Palm and Handspring's PDA lines will exist side-by-side, at least for now. However, when the merged company is renamed next year, I'd expect its PDA lineup to be revamped to eliminate redundancy and share technology.

With Handspring now under Palm's wing and HandEra balking on renewing its PalmOS license, Sony is left as the only major third party alternative for PalmOS-based PDAs. Let's hope that strong competition between Sony and the new tag team of Palm and Handspring can make the PDA market a little more exciting.

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