Psion Software Plc, the software division of the UK-based handheld computer company, is under considerable pressure from vendors who’ve opted for the safe option of Microsoft Corp’s Windows CE operating system for their portable systems, and needs to win support from other vendors to give it a more secure future. Now the company can gain some cheer from a new licensing deal for the operating system from Philips Consumer Communications, which has licensed the Epoch32 mobile ROM-based software for a planned range of what it calls data and messaging companions. The Philips roadmap calls for a platform which can scale from a handset to a fully fledged message-centric device, the company said yesterday at the PCS Conference in Dallas, Texas. The first of the systems, due for release by the end of the year, will support fax send and receive and email, as well as personal information management applications and internet access. They are squarely positioned as ‘phones not palmtops, the company said. Epoch32 is Psion’s third generation, ROM-based platform, supporting C++ and Basic-like development tools. Java is on the way.