In support of a Symbian OS option for the Psion Teklogix NETBOOK PRO

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    The worldwide Psion user community
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We the undersigned are aware that Psion Teklogix are to be releasing a successor to the netBook; the NETBOOK PRO. We further understand that the intention is to supply this new machine with the Windows CE operating system. While we totally understand that this will be the OS of choice for the target volume enterprise market for this product, as continuing power users of the existing netBook (and other Psion products) and advocates of the EPOC/Symbian it would be remiss of us not to put forward the case for offering the Symbian OS as option on the new machine. We will first present the benefits of Symbian OS with respect to WindowsCE, and then suggest possible routes to offering it as an option for NETBOOK PRO.

The following is a distillation of a long discussion in the forums on the PsionPlace website (see http://www.pdastreet.com/forums/sho...&threadid=18259), representing the views of a vast cross-section of users from many countries around the globe.

Aside from the well-understood benefits of smaller hardware footprint and greater stability, the key benefit of Symbian refers to the winds of change blowing in the mobile OS market.

- There are significantly more Symbian licencees than PocketPC Smartphone Edition licencees (source Canalys; http://www.canalys.com/pr/r2002102.htm). Thus a Windows-only device will be incompatible with the majority of mobile devices in the EMEA market.
- ER7 developers at www.allaboutsymbian.com indicate that there is a significant market for a NETBOOK PRO running ER7 as a development platform for ER7 smartphone software.
- a Symbian palmtop is the perfect companion for a Symbian smartphone.
- a Symbian option for NETBOOK PRO provides an upgrade path for existing enterprise netBook customers; maintaining your customer base.

Thus we would be sad to see Teklogix not take advantage of their significant 'inside track' with respect to Symbian as it becomes the de facto mobile OS, and no doubt furthers its penetration into the enterprise market.

We would like to put forward the following range of proposals for making Symbian OS available for NETBOOK PRO. Please excuse our understandable lack of in-depth knowledge of the issues involved in each:

1. Port Symbian OS V7 to NETBOOK PRO. We are aware that this is not an insurmountable task, since the core OS supplies most of the necessary services and drivers; the Techview or EIKON UIs could be used for the front end with minimal modification.

2. Port Symbian ER5 to NETBOOK PRO. This may be more or less work than V7, but would have the benefit of taking advantage of the existing software base, at the cost of poor support for newer hardware features (USB, Bluetooth).

3. Encourage Symbian to open source ER5 (ideally the unreleased Unicode version). Many users would simply be happy to see ER5 running on better hardware, and an open source license would save you the trouble of writing low-level code/drivers/stacks for the new hardware; the network of developers worldwide would do the work for you.

4. Involve a third party company to port either Symbian 7 or ER5 to the hardware and to resell it under an alternative name so as not to dilute your market presentation.