Palm has signed a $19m stock deal to acquire privately held software developer ThinAirApps in a bid to increase its corporate presence against rival Microsoft.
New York-based ThinAirApps is a developer of products for secure wireless access to corporate email and data.
Palm intends to use ThinAirApps' technology, combined with that of its previously acquired Actual Software Corporation, to provide integrated end-to-end messaging products for enterprise customers.
Todd Bradley, executive vice president and chief operating officer at Palm's Solutions Group, said: "Acquiring ThinAirApps is a lynchpin of our long-term enterprise and wireless strategies ... to expand the benefits of wireless to ever broader markets."
The company explained that it expected to hold onto 26 ThinAirApps employees, mainly from the engineering team, while six workers will lose their jobs. The acquisition is to be completed by the end of December.
Palm is already a licensee of ThinAirApps' groupware technology which allows its US workers to access Microsoft's Outlook functions on Palm VII handhelds.
The company has been working with ThinAirApps for the past 12 months on developing server technology for Palm's next-generation behind-the-firewall email and messaging solutions.
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