We've known for almost two years now that Palm has been cooking up a mysterious mobile computing device for what founder Jeff Hawkins calls the company's 'third business' (with the other two being PDAs and smartphones, obviously), and now several sites are claiming that attendees of Walt Mossberg's D: All Things Digital conference will be the first to learn hard details about this ambitious project. Although it's been public knowledge that Hawkins would be speaking at next Wednesday's D for some time now, both Brighthand and I4U are reporting that he will indeed be divulging material information on what many people are predicting will be a UMPC-like tablet codenamed 'Hawk' and powered by Palm's recently-announced Linux-based OS; when we contacted Palm, they would only say that "Jeff...will be presenting something to do with Palm." For whatever it's worth, we do know that Hawkins shares our love of cramming as much power, storage, connectivity (well, for the most part), and usability into as small a package as possible, so to those folks who have been discounting Palm and its seeming inability to innovate, you may be in for quite a surprise next week.

Read - I4U
Read - Brighthand's predictions