Symbian-powered netbooks 'coming soon'

Netbooks running Symbian could be on the market soon. That's according to the newly formed Symbian Foundation's Tim Holbrow.

Referring to the Symbian Foundation's previous Android-matching Intel Atom demonstration, Symbian leadership team member Holbrow said "it can already run on netbooks."

Will we see them on the market? "I think so, yep," says Holbrow. "But I think the question is, will netbooks carry on being netbooks?"

In an exclusive interview with TechRadar before his speech at Wireless and Mobile 09 in London today, Holbrow also talked up this possibility – that netbooks could evolve into mobile devices that are essentially a processor, adapting to the environment in which they're put.

"The vision I have is of people carrying round a single processor where they access data from various sources and they have input and output where you take your device home and it connects to your wireless keyboard and display and the UI rises and shrinks to size," he explains.

"I think Symbian is well placed to be the OS there," added Holbrow.

"What we're seeing at the Symbian Foundation is a move towards superconvergence... all of your technologies all converging into one device," Holbrow told TechRadar. "We can see a world in two or three years' time where mobile devices start to eat into the world of laptops and netbooks... obviously cameras are already doing it."

Psion heritage

Holbrow was at Wireless and Mobile 09 to talk up the benefits of Symbian's new open source status. The not-for-profit Symbian Foundation is now in full control of the platform.

The irony is that the Symbian OS is a descendent of Psion's EPOC OS - a system that ran on handhelds and the sub-notebook Series 7.

Of course, who would deploy a super-phone or netbook running Symbian is another thing, but it could always be a company like Samsung, which already uses the OS on devices like the Omnia HD.

Liked this? Why now read TechRadar's full interview with Tim Holbrow now?


Dan (Twitter, Google+) is TechRadar's Former Deputy Editor and is now in charge at our sister site Covering all things computing, internet and mobile he's a seasoned regular at major tech shows such as CES, IFA and Mobile World Congress. Dan has also been a tech expert for many outlets including BBC Radio 4, 5Live and the World Service, The Sun and ITV News.