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Handspring goes wireless

Handspring, Inc. (NASDAQ: HAND) announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Bluelark Systems, Inc. of Mountain View Calif., developers of Blazer™ and BlueSky™, a Palm OS™ web browser and proxy server system that enable fast, seamless Internet access from handheld computers. With this acquisition, Handspring can advance its development of handheld products and Springboard modules that provide a secure, standards-based web connection in a true pocket-size form.
Handspring, a leading innovator in the handheld computing industry, will buy Bluelark Systems for up to 450,000 shares of Handspring common stock. Closing of the transaction is subject to approval by the shareholders of Bluelark and certain other conditions, and is anticipated to close in the first calendar quarter of 2001.

Donna Dubinsky, president and CEO of Handspring, said, “With the Internet such an important part of people’s everyday lives, it’s important to make it easier for people to access information from wherever they are. With Bluelark’s software and infrastructure, Web browsing will become a key application for Handspring products, in the easy and elegant style that our customers are accustomed to.”

“Through this acquisition, the Bluelark team is joining forces with a leading innovator in the handheld computing market. Together, we believe we will have the resources and expertise to build and widely distribute leading products for wireless Internet access,” said Simon Mawby, CEO of Bluelark Systems.

Bluelark’s core technology is a customizable mobile application platform called BlueSky, designed to give people a rich Internet experience from wireless-enabled handheld products. It also provides a product called Blazer, client software for handheld devices that connects to the Internet to provide rapid transport of web content. Because the BlueSky infrastructure supports all major existing standards, content is optimized for viewing on a handheld display regardless of its origin. For example, Blazer can display optimized content from sources including HTML, WAP and cHTML. The Blazer experience is especially beneficial for viewing rich content on color display products such as the Handspring™ Visor™ Prism. Initially, Handspring intends to bundle Blazer with its new VisorPhone™ product beginning in 2001.

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