Handspring, Inc., a leading innovator in handheld computers and personal communicators, today announced the release of BlazerTM 2.0, a new version of its award-winning web browser, designed to provide Palm OS handheld computers and communicators with fast access to a full range of web content. Blazer 2.0 offers all of the features of the original Blazer, but with improved speed, enhanced security for online transactions, and new features to allow faster and easier access to web content. Blazer 2.0 is available now for $19.95 on www.handango.com and later today on www.palmgear.com. Both Handango and PalmGear will email their Blazer 1.1 customers instructions on downloading a free upgrade to Blazer 2.0.
Blazer 2.0 is a key application built into Handspring’s new Treo™ family of communicators, devices which combine phone, messaging and PDA features in a compact, sleek form factor. An application button on Treo launches the Blazer browser, allowing people to access the Internet with one touch. Blazer’s new bookmarking feature stores up to 100 bookmarks, enabling people to easily connect to their favorite web sites with a single tap.
“Internet browsing is quickly becoming one of the core applications for handhelds and communicators. We believe that one day people will use wireless devices even more frequently than desktop computers to access the Internet,” said Joe Sipher, vice president of product marketing at Handspring. “Blazer 2.0 is an important step in making this vision a reality with its improved performance, stronger security, and ease of use. Blazer works great on many Palm OS devices with an Internet connection, and we’ve optimized it to take advantage of the QWERTY keyboard and jog rocker in our upcoming Treo communicator products.”
Dataquest/Gartner Group forecasts that the total number of mobile Internet subscribers in North America will grow more than 700 percent between 2001 and 2005, from 16.3 million to 136.25 million subscribers. A report from CIBC World Markets predicts that the number of wireless Internet subscribers worldwide will increase from an estimated 79.52 million subscribers in 2001 to an estimated 509.53 million subscribers in 2005. According to the CIBC forecast, by 2005 approximately 50 percent of all wireless subscribers will be accessing the wireless Internet.
Blazer 2.0 has several new features including enhanced bookmarks, 128 bit SSL encryption and faster browsing while connected to the Internet. The new security features support additional security types, including proxy and HTTP authentication, and viewing of secure web pages over HTTPS, which allow users to make purchases and shop online with complete confidence. In addition, browsing performance has been improved, making page rendering and navigating on the Web with Blazer faster than ever before. Also new in Blazer 2.0 is the ability to select the homepage that first appears when Blazer is launched. Virtually any web site on the Internet can be set as Blazer’s homepage.