Soon, Palm Inc. will be no more. The company that pioneered the personal digital assistant and made the word “Palm” practically synonymous with any PDA will change its name to palmOne Inc. this fall.

The new name, which was unveiled Aug. 18, will immediately follow the official split of the company’s hardware and software units, expected to be completed in the fall.

The unit that develops the Palm operating system will remain as PalmSource Inc., and the operating system itself will continue to be known as Palm.

The division that makes Palm devices will adopt the name of palmOne, with products bearing the new logo by spring, said Page Murray, vice president of marketing for the Milpitas, Calif.-based Palm.

The task of choosing new names started after the spinoff was proposed more than a year ago to help each unit better compete with rivals, such as Microsoft Corp. on the operating system side and Sony Corp. on the hardware side.

Operating as both a hardware and software provider sometimes created snags for Palm, and hindered potential partners that feared the Palm units would share information or subsidize each other.

Keeping the word “palm” in the names was a no brainer. “It’d be a crime for both companies to not tap into the tremendous equity in the Palm brand,” Murray said.