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Psion and UK .gov – plot thickens

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Life has its moments of Serendipity, here at The Reg. After a rather long day listening to Compaq's biggest and best telling us about the future strategy of the company, a couple of tired old hacks semi-retired to the Clachan, a hostelry near Vulture Central, to chew over the cud. In the midst of a conversation, the other hack held up one hand and imperiously stopped the flow. We thought he just wanted to listen to the lyrics of a song that was playing, but after we'd sat down elsewhere, he told us what that was all about. An overheard conversation between three civil servants suggested that Psion was just about to win a giant contract from the UK government for between two to three million (million...) handhelds, brokered by Deloitte Touche. Of course, we had to ring Psion the next day to check on this story -- it being big news -- if true, and talked to a corporate man at the firm, who said he was neither in a position to confirm nor deny the reports. He said that he had been in to see David Levin, Psion's chief executive, whose reaction had been to lift one eyebrow and say "Really?". It was not beyond the bounds of possibility, our corporate man said, that such deals were being brokered, as Psion had many partners. He had not heard of such a deal yet, but it was not impossible one had been brokered. And we do know for a fact that David Potter, Psion's chairman, has a very good relationship with our present prime minister, Tony Blair. Perhaps this is one of the projects now being brought to fruition by Gareth Hughes, formerly MD of subsidiary Psion Dacom, who, we reported recently, has gone off to look after all nursery projects at the firm. ®

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