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Palm released webOS 1.2 this week, bringing a variety of updates, including access to the Amazon MP3 Store, the ability to download files in the Web browser, and filtering of e-mails by search. But the most surprising news isn't what's included — it's what's been omitted.
Given the back-and-forth battle between Apple and Palm, many expected that the latest webOS update would re-enable the device to sync with iTunes. Earlier this month, the release of iTunes 9 disabled Palm Pre sync.
But last week, the USB Implementers Forum sided with Apple in a dispute over iTunes sync capabilities. Though Palm initially petitioned the forum in hopes that it would side with them, the group told Palm that the Pre's alleged use of Apple's vendor ID violates its rules.
The forum went on to say that Apple is within the rules of the USB-IF to limit iTunes syncing to proprietary hardware like the iPhone and iPod via use of the USB vendor ID. Apple's blocking out of hardware like the Palm Pre, the forum said, is not "improper."
The USB-IF is a non-profit organization that supports the Universal Serial Bus and sets the standards for the hardware input. Unique vendor IDs are necessary for developing USB products.
Last week, Palm said it intends to respond to the USB-IF, noting that it believes consumers should have "freedom and choice" when transferring media to personal devices.