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September 22, 1995

US ROBOTICS’ PALM BUY HERALDS MOVE INTO COMS SOFTWARE

By CBR Staff Writer

Skokie, Illinois-based US Robotics Corp is looking to its acquisition of Los Altos, California-based handheld specialist Palm Computing Inc as a way of at getting more involved in communications software and systems. Jon Zakin, executive vice-president of business strategy and development at the company, said the acquisition is part of US Robotics’ mission to be the access company. He added that the firm has been looking at buying in technoogy that would enable it to exploit its acquisition of mobile specialist Megahertz Corp (CI No 2,526). Asked whether the purchase could herald a move into the Personal Digital Assistant market for US Robotics since many of Palm’s technologies, notably the handwriting recognition and its synchronisation technologies for transmitting data between client and server devices, seem particularly suited for assistants, Zakin said that while the company believes this segment is going to be quite large, it doesn’t have any paricular plans to enter it. Indeed Zakin added that US Robotics was attracted to Palm because it has an interesting technology but that it had no specific products in mind at the time of the acquisition. Zakin denied that the company is diversifying to the extent of losing its focus, saying that its structure means that each individual operating unit defines its own growth and operates more or less autonomously. Following this business model through, he said that – at least for the time being – Palm will be run as an autonomous unit.

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