Michael Abbott, senior VP of applications, software, and services at Palm, made the announcement, noting that he had chosen to deliver the news among Web developers rather than at the CTIA Wireless 2009 conference, which began on Wednesday in Las Vegas.
During his brief presentation, Abbot mentioned a few of the innovative features in Palm's WebOS, including its use of a card metaphor to make multitasking easier and the Palm Synergy feature, which provides a unified view of information such as contact data that is shared across applications.
The developer program expansion stopped short of a public release of the Mojo software development kit; interested developers must apply online through Palm's developer site.
Abbot also said that Palm is developing a cloud service that it's calling the Mojo Messaging Service, which will allow developers to create interactions between WebOS device users and their applications.
The Mojo Messaging Service uses the XMPP protocol to allow message publishing and subscription. Its feature set initially will be limited, but Palm expects to add features over time.
Apple's forthcoming iPhone 3.0 software will include a similar push notification system.
Palm is also developing a Palm OS emulator that will allow most Palm OS applications to function on devices running its new WebOS. Palm said that the application will be called "Classic" and will be available from Sprint in the first half of 2009.
To the disappointment of many, Abbot didn't provide information about pricing or a specific release date for the Pre.
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