Psion licenses Java for its EPOC32 platform

Psion Software extends Java to the handheld computing and Smartphone markets

March 13, 1997

Psion Software PLC today announced that it has licensed Java(TM) technologies from JavaSoft, a business unit of Sun Microsystems, Inc. Psion Software PLC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Psion PLC, inventors of the electronic organizer and the world market leader (Forrester Research, Boston, MA 1995) for palmtop computers.

Under the license agreement, Psion Software will port Sun's Java technologies to its EPOC32 platform. EPOC32 is a highly optimized operating system with a suite of fully featured PIM and productivity applications. This agreement allows Psion Software to license Java technologies for EPOC32 to Psion Computers PLC, Psion Industrial PLC, and external licensees for development of future personal Communicators, smart phones, Mobile Network Computers (MNCs) and Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs).

"We view it as crucial to have a cross-platform industry standard development language for the EPOC32 platform and Java is rapidly becoming that standard" said Colly Myers, CEO of Psion Software PLC. "Enterprises need to be able to deploy their own in-house applications and off the shelf software throughout their organizations on a whole range of hardware. The Write Once, Run Anywhere(TM) Java paradigm gives them that ability."

"We are delighted that Psion has licensed Sun's Java technologies," said Jon Kannegaard, vice president of software products at JavaSoft. "Psion is a major player in the palmtop computer market, and this licensing agreement will enable Java to extend not only into the corporate enterprise space but the consumer electronic arena as well."

"EPOC32 is the only portable platform built entirely in C++. This gives it an excellent fit with the Java environment" added Mark Gretton, Technology Director at Psion Software PLC. "One of our unique skills is the ability to control the ROM and RAM requirements for C++. The power of our functionally rich C++ objects will allow us to port Java to EPOC32 with little extra ROM or RAM overhead."

Psion Software will port Java technologies to its EPOC32 platform allowing fully featured programs for the platform to be developed entirely in Java. Psion Software's unique software miniaturization skills will allow the EPOC32 port of Java technologies to run in handheld and mobile environments on low power RISC processors. This will allow Psion Software's licensees to produce low cost Java enabled products.

Java's strong Internet support will make it easy to develop Internet centric applications for EPOC32. Support for Word Wide Web Java applets will also be provided in the EPOC32 mobile web browser.

Java on the EPOC32 platform will open up support for a vast array of emerging third-party software, including suites of productivity applications, and in-house, vertical, corporate applications. Corporations will find this is particularly appealing since they will be able to run the same Java code throughout their businesses. Mobile communications service providers, in particular, will be able to create value added services for the emerging smart phone market.