Access to buy PalmSource for $324M

Embedded Web browser developer Access agreed to buy PalmSource for $324 million in cash. Access makes a Web browser called NetFront, which runs on an estimated 180 million mobile phones and information appliances. PalmSource develops the Palm OS and claims an installation base of 39 million mobile devices. PalmSource recently posted a third-quarter operating loss and planned lay-offs. Two years ago the company was formed when the software and hardware divisions of Palm split into two new companies.

Many insiders are surprised by the acquisition but say it's a smart move for Access, whose NetFront browser is prolific in Japan but has scant market share elsewhere. Some say the motivating factor for the deal was PalmSource's recent move toward a Linux-based handset platform and away from the company's legacy OS.

For more on the Access, PalmSource deal:
- read this story from TechWorld