Say It Aint So

By Guy Kewney  |  Posted 2004-02-11 Print this article Print

"One of the things that occurred in Symbian, with the shareholders, is that it was agreed we would focus very much on the wireless sector, in particular smart phones," Potter remarks. "Hopefully, that would have involved taking that much more widely, but it turned out it was very much into smart phones." Therefore, he says somewhat sadly, "theres an emphasis throughout Symbian, into the technology for wireless handsets, rather than more generally. Symbian could have got into other opportunities." Such as?
"Well, providing middleware and gluing software in motor cars of the future," Potter points out. "More of them have more and more stuff they have to handle. They need middleware to bring it all together, want plugins, and a common standard. The need is clear."
But thats not going to happen. What Psion Teklogix is doing is moving into the "PC Lite" business. It has a product that looks just like a notebook PC, but instead of running Windows, it runs Windows CE. Similarly, theres the Dana. The same idea but it uses the Palm OS as the engine for an everyday machine. Potter agrees that the desktop machine is simply too powerful for most users needs. "I agree fully with what you say about the desktop, Guy," admits Potter. "Thats where Linux is so important. With the latest hardware, youre putting great big tractors on peoples desks. They become very complex and fragile. I think Linux is the way thats going to be taken forward, with a whole variety of products and offerings." Does this mean he wont get involved in wireless? He says he cant say--at least not until March 2nd when Psion publishes its year-end figures. My bet is that Potter sees wireless with a far wider perspective than simple cellular phone networks can encompass. So well see things that quite plausibly will have voice-over-Internet capabilities and wireless LAN technology built in but look like laptops or even small desktops. Of course, well have to wait, to find out.


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