Hard times for PocketPCs?
There is another opponent on the horizon for PocketPC and it is not a minor enemy as it bears the name of Sony. The Japanese electronics giant has announced that it has purchased the license to use the operating system on its phones Symbian intended, in the intentions of the consortium that supports it, to transform the phones of the next generation in a middle way between a transmission system for the voice, an internet browser and a palmtop computer. At the moment the details of the operation are not still clear but, reading the information available on the net, it seems that Sony's strategy in this regard is rather complex and takes into consideration many variables. On the one hand, in fact, it seems that the Symbian consortium, which includes many cell phone manufacturers including the major market players such as Nokia, Motorola and Eriksson, would adopt memory sticks, Sony's proprietary standard, as a memory . In this way, not only the phones would have the possibility to exchange data and information without the need to switch only to the infrared ports, but Sony would have a customer with a very large installed base. On the other hand, Sony itself would not abandon Palm, from which it bought the operating system under license only a few months ago. Palm, which also announced an alliance with Symbian to fight against Microsoft, would continue to supply its operating system for the real and their own handhelds that Sony would keep differentiated in terms of performance and target market from smart phones. How this will be possible remains to be seen. Most probably the distinction could be made by choosing the markets to which the products are destined: in Europe, where Symbian is likely to be a widespread standard at all levels, Sony may not introduce its handheld. On the contrary in the USA, where Symbian due to the differences in communication standards might not even succeed, we could only see Sony's PDA. The result would, in any case, always be a strengthening of a platform (Symbian or Palm) alternative to Microsoft's PocketPC launched at the sound of fanfare only last week. The Redmond company would still have the lean (so to speak) consolation of seeing its mobile explorer for Mobile Explorer, used in some of the Symbian devices. Among these, it seemed to understand yesterday, even those of Sony.