Cut-down operating system developer Geoworks Inc has formed an alliance with Japanese internet software company Access Co Ltd, to promote the Geoworks operating system, GEOS, bundled with Access’ embedded internet application software NetFront to Japanese manufacturers developing internet enabled mobile phones. The pair are to co-market the software to Japanese firms, as Access has a number of existing relationships with the consumer electronics companies. The GEOS operating system has already been taken up by European mobile phone manufactures Nokia Oy and LM Ericsson Telefon AB for Nokia’s 9000 communicator and a forthcoming Ericsson mobile phone. The Japanese deal will involve porting the GEOS operating system over to each manufacturer’s phone and re-writing parts of the GEOS and NetFront for the specific features needed. The agreement follows a similar alliance between Access and TV-based Internet service provider NetChannel Inc, for an agreement to co-market NetChannel’s service with Access’ applications software, for licensing the combined software to set-top box manufactures (CI No 3,286). Alameda, California-based Geoworks is going to continue with its separate US and European strategy. It is one of the key licensees for Sun Microsystems Inc’s cut down version of Java, PersonalJava, which has been developed for smart mobile phones and Personal Digital Assistants, and plans to develop systems which integrate its GEOS with PersonalJava. Geoworks has also ventured into a new market with the development of an intelligent network system for Telecom Finland Ltd, which backs up information held in a smart phone memory, such as schedule information, short messages, faxes, emails and phone numbers. Geoworks is keen to be in the market for developing software for other mobile phone operators and says it is developing applications based on Spyglass Inc’s Prism web-to-phone conversion software which it licensed earlier this year (CI No 3,198).
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