PalmSource is the maker of the Palm OS operating system used to power mobile devices such as the Palm Treo smartphone and Garmin iQue PDA. Access develops the NetFront browser for mobile devices.
The deal gives PalmSource a "lifeline", according to Kevin Burden, programme manager for mobile devices at analyst firm IDC.
"PalmSource has been ripe for acquisition for the past year or two," he told vnunet.com. " One of the big worries was how long PalmSource was going to be able to survive."
The software maker has had trouble finding licensees for its mobile operating system, after Sony left the PDA market altogether.
PalmSource planed to use the funds to develop a new version of its operating system based on Linux rather than the current proprietary software. A first version is scheduled for release in the summer of 2006.
Access said that it would continue development of the mobile Linux version, and plans to combine its browser with the operating system.
The acquisition of PalmSource by an Asian company was not a big surprise, according to Burden. Enterprises in the region have a strong interest in using the Linux operating system for mobile devices.
Japan's largest mobile operator, DoCoMo, has committed to using Linux on all its future phones.
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