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Palm’s new store offers 10 times more apps than Android Market: Software Store relies on 1,500 wireless application developers

Palm Inc. joined the application-store bandwagon, launching a downloadable storefront with 5,000-plus offerings for more than two dozen Palm devices.
The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based outfit opened the Software Store (available at http://software.palm.com/appstore), showcasing high-profile applications (Facebook, Pac-Man, Tetris) as well as lesser-known products. The store is powered by PalmGear.com, a longtime partner of Palm, as well as PocketGear, a direct-to-consumer platform company that launched earlier this year in the wake of a spin-off by Motricity Inc.
Impressively, the store launches with roughly ten times as many applications as Google Inc.’s Android Market, and roughly half of Apple’s App Store titles. Roughly 1,000 of Palm’s applications are free, and more than 1,500 developers have already submitted offerings to the new storefront.
The launch continues a flurry of activity by smartphone manufacturers looking to deliver applications directly to users of their devices. Apple was first to market with its App Store, followed quickly by Android Market. Nokia Corp.’s Symbian and Research In Motion Ltd.’s BlackBerry also plan to join the fray in the next few months, and Microsoft Corp. is hoping to launch its Skymarket next year.
The launch of the Software Store follows yesterday’s news that Palm will use the upcoming CES event to unveil Nova, a new mobile operating system. The company yesterday added a new front-office heavyweight, hiring Douglas Jeffries as CFO. Jeffries most recently served as chief accounting officer at eBay; he replaces Andy Brown, who will leave Palm in February.

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