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Symbian deal lays ground for Web wireless standards

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Symbian, the smartphone and low-resource operating system joint venture between Psion, Ericsson, Nokia and Motorola, has struck a licence deal with UK developer STNC. The Bury St Edmunds-based company will provide low-resource, small footprint Web software for wireless devices using Symbian’s EPOC OS. STNC already has deals with Psion (it provides the messaging software for the Series 5), Philips(Web technology for the Accent smartphone) and Brother. It produces the HitchHiker smartphone OEM platform for a range of CPUs, including ARM, x86, 68k and PowerPC, and the breakthrough with Symbian means that the outfit, which is backed by VC company 3i, is poised on the verge of the big time. The company claims to produce the world’s smallest Web browser, but is really focussed on Web and associated protocol technologies that will data- and Web-enable devices from standard phone handsets upwards. Its software will support text-only browsers on standard handsets and low-end smartphones, but scales up through to high-featured ‘communicator’ devices. According to Symbian, STNC Web software for EPOC will support HTML 4.0, Cascading Style Sheets and Javascript, among other Internet standards, in a minimum of code. ®

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