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Palm buys calendar firm for wireless services

In a move to boost its wireless strategy, the popular handheld maker acquires a Web company that manages personal calendar services online.

In a move to boost its wireless strategy, popular handheld maker Palm has acquired a Web company that manages personal calendar services online.

Palm bought Cambridge, Mass.-based in a cash and stock deal valued at $80 million. The purchase is Palm's first as an independent company, following an initial public offering that raised more than $300 million and split its operations from networking parent 3Com.

Although most of the company's revenues come from hardware sales, Palm is working to add software and wireless services to its business. The handheld maker has signed several high-profile licensees such as Sony, Nokia and Handspring.

Today's purchase of Anyday is aimed at boosting Palm's appeal to mobile wireless device users, according to Palm CEO Carl Yankowski.

"The Internet is already going mobile, and by linking mobile Internet-based services to your pocket calendar, we can drive this trend and deliver a powerful combination for busy professionals, parents and students alike," Yankowski said in a statement.

Anyday's Web-based calendar will be combined with the wireless service, according to a Palm representative. Wireless Palm VII owners will be able to directly access personal information online, such as business appointments, birthdays or anniversaries.

The service is already available for non-wireless devices that can download information from the Internet and from desktop PCs via a handheld cradle, according to the company.

Recently, Palm said it will add wireless technology in some form to all its existing handheld lines via add-on wireless modems or other connections. Wireless connectivity will eventually be integrated into the Palm V and Palm III product lines as well, sources said.

The Anyday transaction will close in about two months pending regulatory approval. Anyday employees will continue to work from company headquarters in Cambridge. Its CEO, Steve Watts, will report to Palm chief operating officer Barry Cottle.