[CNET NEWS.COM] Cell phone makers shun CE.

I Find Karma (adam@cs.caltech.edu)
Wed, 1 Jul 1998 15:43:08 -0700

I guess Nokia, Ericsson, and Motorola are the three major mobile phone
manufacturers -- so here they're joining Psion to develop a handheld OS
based on EPOC. Though Motorola doesn't really have a stake in the joint
venture, they retain rights to use EPOC in their products:


Although the article indicates that this venture was developed to
challenge CE, my office-mate suspects that the reasons are more
technical in nature.

The article also adds to the Bluetooth hype. I wonder if Intel's gonna
be able to deliver that bad boy as expected...

> Cell phone makers shun CE
> By Kurt Oeler
> Staff Writer, CNET NEWS.COM
> June 24, 1998, 1:00 p.m. PT
> Cell phone makers Nokia and Ericsson joined British handheld
> manufacturer Psion in forming a joint venture to popularize a
> handheld-class operating system with wireless capabilities.
> Symbian, the name of the joint venture, will exist to develop and
> license EPOC, an operating system for portable handheld computers. Psion
> invented EPOC and is relinquishing its proprietary rights to Symbian.
> Based on open standards, the expanded EPOC would challenge Microsoft's
> Windows CE. It would include Java and other technologies, and its
> interface will be customizable by manufacturers who license the OS.
> Motorola further signed a memorandum of understanding to eventually
> acquire a stake in Symbian. Nokia, Ericsson, Motorola, and Psion will
> have rights to use EPOC in their products.
> The joint venture opens another front for Windows CE-based devices,
> which already trail 3Com's popular PalmPilot in market share. And 3Com
> is currently beta-testing a technology that adds paging to the
> PalmPilot's capabilities.
> EPOC would enable Internet access, messaging, and other data
> transmission, incorporating industry standards and technologies like
> Java, Wireless Application Protocol, and "Bluetooth," a short-range
> radio signal announced last month. Ericsson and Nokia both are part of
> the Bluetooth's development.
> "We plan to establish EPOC as the de facto operating system for mobile
> wireless information devices and further drive innovation and market
> growth," Symbian's chief executive, Colly Myers, said in a statement.
> "This is a preemptive maneuver by Nokia, Ericsson, and Motorola to try
> to keep Microsoft out of their business," said telecom analyst Douglas
> Smith at Salomon Smith Barney.
> Meanwhile, the joint venture is a momentous victory for Psion, which has
> complained that Microsoft's entry into the market is hurting its
> handheld business.
> "It gives them much more of a financial backing and customer base,"
> Smith said. "One of the concerns of Psion was certainly that they would
> be crushed by Microsoft, and now they have some important players on
> their team."
> Psion will initially own 40 percent of Symbian while Nokia and Ericsson
> will own 30 percent each.
> Reuters contributed to this report.


When you grow up playing Missile Command, you come to expect some kind
of causal relationship between the choices you make and the images on
the screen... videogames are perfect training for life in fin de siecle
America, where daily existence demands the ability to parse sixteen
kinds of information being fired at you simultaneously from telephones,
televisions, fax machines, pagers, personal digital assistants, voice
messaging systems, postal delivery, email, and the Internet... you have
to recognize patterns in this whirl of data, and you have to do it fast.
-- J.C. Herz, _Joystick Nation_