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Mitsubishi to develop portable Net access device OS

Lines up against WinCE,PalmOS and Symbian

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US software developer Integrated Systems yesterday said it is working with Japanese giant Mitsubishi on an operating system for hand-held Internet access devices. The project essentially has Integrated building an OS for a series of microcontrollers coming from Mitsubishi. Around that core, the duo will develop a complete device along the lines of the current crop of Windows CE and Palm devices, an Integrated spokesman told Japanese daily Nihon Keizai. Whether Mitsubishi will offer the device itself isn't known, but the Integrated spokesman said that Hitachi, NEC and Fujitsu are interested in getting involved with the project. With all the projections pointing to a massive increase in sales of portable Net-access machines over the next three years, it's no surprise that all these companies are keen to break into the market. What is interesting, however, is their decision to develop a fourth platform alongside Windows CE, the Palm OS and Psion/Symbian's EPOC32. It's also noteworthy that both Hitachi and NEC are already Windows CE licensees, albeit for their handheld PC offerings rather than palmtop machines. Their interest in the Integrated/Mitsubishi project would seem to suggest neither company is too happy with CE as a basis for future products. ®

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