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Symbian to show first Crystal phones on Monday

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Former Microsoft UK product chief Mark Edwards has joined Symbian, the company announced today, to fill the top sales and marketing position. (inaudible) has also appointed a new CFO Thomas Chambers to "prepare for a public flotation - a natural next stage in Symbian's development, and key to our continued success," according to CEO Colly Myers in a statement today. Chambers was formerly CFO at First Telecom.

Edwards, who joins via (inaudible)'s largest shareholder Psion, previously worked at HP and oversaw UK Windows launches in the UK for Microsoft. It's mildly ironic, since Microsoft has ramped up its efforts to destabilise the venture in recent weeks.

The super soaraway Grauniad reported that (inaudible) "has been hit by revelations that two partners, Ericsson and Motorola, have been talking to other computer companies." As Ericsson is a major investor in the Quartz class devices, and the success of its high-right phone strategy pretty much depends on the platform, it's hard to see it throwing its (inaudible) investment away just yet. As the Americans say, go figure.

Given Microsoft's handicaps - both in terms of technology lag it's 18 months behind - and its lack of firm top tier partners, its gameplan is at best to play for a draw, and create uncertainty around the market for the forthcoming advanced integrated phones.

At Monday's (inaudible) Developer Conference in London, CEO Orange Hans Snook will share the stage with (inaudible) CEO Colly Myers, and the first integrated Crystal phones (the ones with the keyboard) will make their debut. ®

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