President and chief executive of pen computing software developer Go Corp Bill Campbell and his director of Asia-Pacifc Business Development Dan Shader were in Japan last week, and Anita Byrnes had a chance to talk with them. Since its inception in 1987, Go Corp has focused on Japan, giving it equal weight with the US. […]
President and chief executive of pen computing software developer Go Corp Bill Campbell and his director of Asia-Pacifc Business Development Dan Shader were in Japan last week, and Anita Byrnes had a chance to talk with them. Since its inception in 1987, Go Corp has focused on Japan, giving it equal weight with the US. Last year, it announced OEM partnerships with Japanese majors such as NEC Corp, Toshiba Corp, Canon Inc and Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. US subsidiaries of three Japanese companies – Toshiba America with a 25MHz 80386 Dynanote, Fujitsu Personal Systems with an FM-Note and NEC Technologies with an 80486 box – have already announced shipment this quarter of mobile computing products incorporating Go’s operating system, although Go says it may be a little early to introduce those systems in Japan. Other companies including Canon Inc, Oki Electric Industry Co and IBM Japan Ltd also plan products. According to Campbell, Japanese manufacturers have found a tie-up with Go attractive because it provides those companies a base-level opportunity to differentiate themselves in terms of mobile computing hardware, performance, form factor and fonts. The Japanese version of PenPoint 2.0 was released in December last year, incorporating a powerful handwriting recognition module developed by Taiwan-based PenPower Technology, a module that however is replaceable with that of the individual Japanese makers. Grey-scale kanji fonts are also supported. The Japan links for Go include NEC as a second source for the Hobbit chip developed by AT&T Co and Eo Inc.Toshiba and Matsushita will also build Hobbit-PenPoint devices. Go works with Eo in the development of the Eo Personal Communicator, which incorporates Go’s products including the Go Message Center, which provides user of PenPoint-based products with access to various electronic mail and facsimile services. Softbank Technologies, a division of leading software distributor SoftBank Co, has teamed with Go to offer instruction in PenPoint programming in Japanese. However there are still few Japanese applications for the PenPoint operating system – one mentioned was Hitachi Software’s PenAnalysis. Campbell says that the Japanese market is still in its early stages of development – with the potential to be at least as large as the US market and real revenues will not be seen until the 1995-96 fiscal year.