updated 2/13/2004 1:24:40 PM ET 2004-02-13T18:24:40

In a marked departure, PalmSource Inc. says future versions of its Palm operating system for handheld devices will not have built-in synchronization software for Apple's Macintosh computers.

The decision to abandon Mac desktop support in its new Palm Cobalt OS stemmed from the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company's limited development resources, PalmSource officials said Thursday.

They stressed, however, that Mac users will still be able to rely on third-party developer software for the important function of synchronizing data between their computers and Palm-powered handhelds.

"We believe the Mac community will be well serviced by the Mac developers we have out there already," PalmSource chief products officer Larry Slotnick said, adding that some of them arguably could do a better job than PalmSource.

For instance, Sony Corp. already includes Mac synchronization software from Mark/Space Inc. in its Palm-based CLIE personal digital assistants, Slotnick said.

"We are not a huge company and our energy and resources (have) to go into guaranteeing that Palm OS Cobalt is a competitive product against rivals like Microsoft or Symbian," Slotnick said.

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