Mobile phones will not be the end user device of choice for data connected remote workers, meaning Microsoft will win out over market rival Symbian, a Microsoft executive claimed yesterday.
Microsoft is keeping its options open, developing its Windows CE OS for a range of end user devices, including notebooks, handheld PCs and companions, according to Windows CE general manager Jonathan Roberts, speaking at Microsoft's CE Developers Conference in Denver, Colorado.
Meanwhile rival mini OS vendor Symbian, funded by Nokia, Ericsson, Motorola, Psion and Matsushita, is going down a one way road by developing its Epoc32 OS only for smart phone devices, said Roberts.
"I don't think the outer node/client is necessarily a phone. It's very unclear what is going to be the outer node device," said Roberts.
"If you look at Symbian, clearly they have a good relationship with key manufacturers, which has to be appreciated. But it is very narrow to say mobile phones are the only device," Roberts added.
Where Microsoft says its key strength in the mini OS market lies is providing an end to end OS, connecting servers, services and PCs.
"I believe we're better equipped to deliver a complete solution to end users," said Roberts.
Microsoft senior executive Steve Ballmer recently sent shock waves through the Symbian camp by suggesting that its backers were quite willing to jump ship if Microsoft's mobile OS proved more successful than Symbian's. Nokia later denied the claim.
Devices demonstrated running Windows CE at this week's conference include set top boxes, in car PCs, petrol pumps and bar code scanners.
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