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Symbian to knock MS out of Siemens alliance?

If Siemens is negotiating, then last year's partner must have been unpartnered

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A deal struck between Microsoft and Siemens a year ago seems in peril this week, with the news that the German company is talking to several software companies, including Sun and Symbian, over appliance operating software. According to German sources Siemens is talking to all three companies, and may be considering joining Motorola, Nokia and Ericsson as a shareholder in Symbian. Microsoft earlier this week announced an alliance with British Telecom, which now intends to trial Windows CE in the mobile phone arena, but the fact that Siemens is back in play suggests that Microsoft's CE alliances are vulnerable to predators. The original Microsoft-Siemens deal was struck early last year on a Bill Gates swing through Europe (see Gates' Euro charm offensive). Then, Siemens seemed MS' only solid win in Europe, and said it would use CE as its standard platform for Wireless, in-car systems, video phones, Internet appliances, TVs and cash registers. This little lot was supposed to be piloted in conjunction with Deutsche Telekom, but if this happened, presumably the pilot was not entirely successful. On the same trip, you'll note from our previous story, Gates failed to to achieve any kind of serious result from the then enigmatic Nokia. A few months later Nokia of course decided it wasn't going to play with CE, and threw-in with Psion and Symbian instead. Might history be about to repeat itself? ®

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