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Singapore to open Palm developer center

Palm signs an agreement with a Singapore university and a government agency to establish a center to train Singapore developers to write Palm applications.

SINGAPORE--Palm has signed an agreement with a Singapore university and a government agency to establish a center to train Singapore developers to write Palm applications.

The Mobile Computing Center, to be operated in conjunction with Temasek Polytechnic and the Info-communications Development Authority of Singapore, is expected to be launched in the second half of the year, said Palm Asia-Pacific director Chng Poh Hwa.

The facility, touted to be the first of its kind in Asia Pacific, is targeted at the developer community in the region. It will be located at Temasek's engineering school.

Staffing, equipment, software and training costs are estimated to be more than $550,000 (S$1 million) over two years, said IDA director for industry development P Ramakrishna.

The costs will be shared among the three parties, Ramakrishna said at a press conference Friday.

Temasek will also incorporate Palm programming training into its engineering school's final-year curriculum, as it sees handheld computing as a fast-growing market.

"The initiative is part of our goal to push the Palm OS as a ubiquitous operating system on the handheld environment," Chng said. "If there are more Palm applications, there will be more Palm users, and subsequently, more companies will license the Palm OS."

Chng said that of the 150,000 Palm OS developers worldwide, about 1,200 are in Singapore.

Ramakrishna added that his agency is in talks with Microsoft Singapore and Psion, among other mobile computing companies, for similar initiatives.

Staff writer Irene Tham reported from Singapore.