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Motorola May Ditch Android, Revive ARM Partnership 207

Posted by Soulskill
from the early-unadopters dept.
siliconbits writes "It looks as if Motorola Mobility could be mulling plans to build an alternative to Google's mobile platform. Several independent sources have confirmed that the mobile phone company is working on a web-based mobile operating system to, as one observer put it, have more control on its own destiny. There's another piece in that puzzle; Motorola Mobility could take even more ownership of its destiny by reviving its ARM license as it depends at the moment on TI and Nvidia to provide the SoCs that power its products; Motorola did produce ARM systems-on-chips in the past."
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Motorola May Ditch Android, Revive ARM Partnership

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  • Either/Or (Score:5, Insightful)

    by XxtraLarGe (551297) on Friday March 25, 2011 @08:41AM (#35610644) Journal
    Is there a reason why Motorola can't have both? They aren't a small company, they could have Android & test the waters with their own stuff too. However from previous experience, I think they should stick with Android. I've purchased several Tracfones for my wife & kids over the past years, and Motorla's software was by far the worst compared to Kyocera, LG & Samsung.
    • Re:Either/Or (Score:4, Insightful)

      by bondsbw (888959) on Friday March 25, 2011 @08:50AM (#35610770)

      Motorola knows how to do hardware. The Droid put Android on the map for everyday users. The RAZR had an almost Apple-quality of hype. But I've never seen them produce new software that made me go "Wow". On the Xoom, they made the best decision they could have made, which was to use unmodified Honeycomb.

      • by JBMcB (73720)

        > On the Xoom, they made the best decision they could have made, which was to use unmodified Honeycomb.

        They didn't really have a choice, since the final release of Honeycomb was only a couple of weeks before the Xoom was released. Xooms were not demo-able at CES because the OS wasn't stable yet, and that was only a month before the Xoom shipped.

      • by whoever57 (658626)

        The RAZR had an almost Apple-quality of hype

        I never really understood that. The first time I borrowed a RAZR, my first thought was how crap the sound quality of the call was.

        • by Homburg (213427)

          my first thought was how crap the sound quality of the call was.

          Right, that's what the parent meant by "Apple quality."

    • Re:Either/Or (Score:5, Insightful)

      by yog (19073) * on Friday March 25, 2011 @08:52AM (#35610792) Homepage Journal
      This [informationweek.com] is apparently the original article. If you google the headline, you find about 20 copies on various blogs. I don't understand why Slashdot submitters can't at least link to the original, unless they have a stake in the blog.

      I'm with the Motorola-is-stupid crowd on this one. They are a hardware/telecom company, not a software company. They have no demonstrated track record of developing a competent, competitive smartphone OS. Short of buying Palm's WebOS, which maybe they should have done instead of letting HP have it, they don't have much hope of keeping up with the Android and iOS juggernauts. Even Rim, the erstwhile smartphone king, has a teeny little app market compared to the two others, and their market share is shrinking, not growing.

      That said, I wish MOT well because a little competition is good for the consumer. I would prefer that they work on perfecting their tablets and smartphones in the Android space, however. The Xoom is a great first effort. Why not tweak it until it's flawless and best-of-breed? Why not help Google improve Android in the areas where MOT feels it's deficient? For a lot less money and resources than developing their own proprietary crappy OS, they can be very competitive.

      Methinks Motorola is not thinking this through very clearly. Then again, it's just a rumor.
      • Re:Either/Or (Score:5, Insightful)

        by tomhudson (43916) <barbara.hudson@b ... h u d s o n .com> on Friday March 25, 2011 @09:19AM (#35611124) Journal
        And the linked article which is the source of the rumours makes some really dumb suppositions:

        Drieu left Apple in March 2010, where he was the head of the company's rich media and applications group. After a five month period without employment, he joined Motorola. His work with Web standards groups WhatWG and W3C and his Web-related patents suggest that he would be well-suited to lead an operating system development effort.

        Yeah,. right, that's the ticket. Get "web standards" people to build an operating system. That's got fail written all over it.

        And the reason given?

        Google is shooting itself in the foot," said the person familiar with Motorola's plans, citing what he sees as concerns about Android fragmentation, product differentiation, and issues related to Google's support for its partners.

        So you fix that by ... making a competing platform that nobody's going to write apps for?

        I'm not buying it. And neither will consumers, because there's no App for that.

      • This reminds me a lot of Samsung's proprietary smartphone OS whose name I can't be bothered to look up at the moment. It sucks, and they sell Android too. In fact, they sell a lot more Android devices than it, but they might keep it at the very low price range.

      • by LWATCDR (28044)

        Yea I love the line that the Motorola Droid made the Android OS relevant. Maybe but Android saved Motorola as well. Before the Droid all that Motorola had was variations of the razor all of which where down into the give way phone range. Maybe Motorola is looking at an OS that will work at the low end of the market. A new feature/messaging phone platform for people that do not want to pay for a data plan but want things like twitter, Facebook, web mail and so on. Other wise I just see this as a new way for

      • by morgauxo (974071)
        Or will this end all competition?

        Given what I have seen of software developed by Motorola I expect this new product will suck. Sorry, they just aren't good at software over there. I understand that some will read that as just prejudice and discount it but that is based on experience with both Motorola and it's programmers. Meanwhile, loss of Motorola hardware and backing could hurt Android pretty hard. This could end up meaning that "All our device belong to Apple".
      • by gbjbaanb (229885)

        They have no demonstrated track record of developing a competent, competitive smartphone OS

        whilst true, they did develop their own Linux-based OS for the Razr v8 (which I had), which provided many good features even though it effectively pre-dated today's 'smartphones'. I could read email and browse the web (even though I didn't as you couldn't get data plans back then).

        So, I think they would probably do well developing their own, whether that's a good or bad thing for us geeks and consumers remains to be s

      • by aztektum (170569)

        They are a hardware/telecom company, not a software company.

        Indeed. They can't even make a skin for Android that isn't a piece of shit. They expect they'll be able to make an entire OS that doesn't suck? It's their money, I guess.

    • by recoiledsnake (879048) on Friday March 25, 2011 @09:05AM (#35610958)

      Yet another Web based operating system? Isn't that was WebOS was supposed to be before it flopped and started allowign native apps? And take a look at the top mobile OSes now, iOS has its roots in NeXT and BSD, which in turn has roots in UNIX philosophy which are really old. Android is based on Linux, which is 20 years old and has it's roots in UNIX which is even older. Windows Phone 7 has it's roots in Windows CE which in turn has it's roots in DOS and Win NT which are really old. Even QNX that Blackberry is moving to has a long history and roots in UNIX and WebOS is based on Linux.

      The point here is that although people think it's easy to build OSes, building one that's full featured and modern is extremely hard and can't be done by just throwing money at people . It takes years for bugs to be found and shaken off. See how Nokia failed inspite of employing tens of thousands of people to work on Symbian and Meego/Maemo. If Motorola is looking to build something from scratch, I am not optimistic.

      On top of that, hardware companies and OEMs seem to universally suck at making software and they don't stop trying. Motorola's skins on Android all lag even on dual cores, OEM software on PC is the worst junk imaginable with crashes, bloat and what not, printer and webcam software is just pathetic. It's like they don't even have a indepented QA team. HTC's Sense UI is appreciated by some, but my experience is that it's laggy and bloated, heavy on features but low on performance. I think part of it is that the OEMs treat software development just like hardware which is a major mistake to make. Software is extremely hard to get right, especially when building OSes, developer APIs etc. which require a LOT of coordination among extremely large number of teams. The competition is no longer about devices or OSes but about platforms, which are extremely hard to build.

      I am sure Motorola doesn't just want to be another Android OEM, but it sure needs to get its act exactly right. Expect multiyear delays and cost overruns. Maybe they can team up with HP on WebOS or Blackberry with QNX.

      • Seconded. Manufacturers of rock solid hardware cannot get even the simplest of software straight.

        How often did we have perfect hardware utterly destroyed by their accompanying drivers? It took GPU manufacturers years, almost decades, to work out issues in their drivers.

        Software delivered by hardware manufacturers is almost always a buggy, laggy, bloated piece of stuff that is usually deactivated, deinstalled, thrown away as soon as possible, unless it's a driver or other absolute neccessity.

      • by Microlith (54737)

        The point here is that although people think it's easy to build OSes, building one that's full featured and modern is extremely hard and can't be done by just throwing money at people . It takes years for bugs to be found and shaken off. See how Nokia failed inspite of employing tens of thousands of people to work on Symbian and Meego/Maemo.

        Actually, Nokia was quite successful with that. Where they failed was internal execution of bringing the various R&D concepts they had developed to market, and doing

    • Didn't Motorola recently claim that Android had been it's savior? Weren't they seriously dying as a company prior to their Android line?

  • Locking (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Nerdfest (867930) on Friday March 25, 2011 @08:41AM (#35610652)
    They way they keep locking down their phones, perhaps it's for the best.
  • Prediction (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Jawnn (445279) on Friday March 25, 2011 @08:41AM (#35610656)
    Motorola will make this stab at a segment in which it has nowhere near the level of expertise required to compete, and it will fail miserably. Sell MOT.
    • Re:Prediction (Score:4, Informative)

      by antifoidulus (807088) on Friday March 25, 2011 @08:48AM (#35610736) Homepage Journal
      Yeah, you should have sold MOT a while ago. They were the ones who thought they could outsource all designing, manufacturing, and support out to the lowest bidder(almost always in the 3rd world), and just have management sit back and collect massive rewards. As a result their phones stagnated while the rest of the industry who was more nimble(and probably had less management overhead) sped ahead. THey have been unable to ever get back into the game of actually designing products people want and as a result I don't think they have a very bright future.
      • by jimicus (737525)

        Seriously, Motorola did that?

        Wow.

        I've heard of managing-by-Dilbert but I never thought it'd actually happen [dilbert.com].

      • by hedwards (940851)

        I kind of liked the Backflip, the only problem was that it was only available in a locked down form and the processing power was anemic. But in terms of the idea it was inspired.

        That being said, AT&T ruined it sufficiently to make it mostly unusable with the processing power munching apps that you couldn't uninstall.

    • No kidding. Motorola is far better off outsourcing their OS (to Android), their chips (to nVidia), and sticking to phone design. I want that chip, this touch screen, that OS, 64 gig flash, 256M DDR on-board, PCI Express northbridge so we can just solder in the hardware as expansion cards (no "card" but the chips are wired up as devices on a board connected to PCI-E, then we load a driver for the 3G and GSM/CDMA radio cards and the Wifi card and we're good). Why design all that when you can just piece it

  • ...then forking its own version (whether it's Android or a do-over on top of Linux) is like me moaning about gas prices then buying a Hummer just to stick it to the Man.
  • They did? (Score:5, Informative)

    by TheRaven64 (641858) on Friday March 25, 2011 @08:46AM (#35610708) Journal

    Motorola did produce ARM systems-on-chips in the past

    I thought that Freescale, the company formerly known as Motorola, made ARM SoCs (and still does, by the way). Zombie Motorola - the bit left after they sold off or spun out all of the interesting bits of the company - never did.

    • by Andy Dodd (701)

      "sudo mod me up" - Sorry, not currently in sudoers it seems.

      You are correct though - Motorola's semiconductor business was spun off to Freescale, and still IS an ARM licensee. They haven't been doing too well lately (Posted VERY high losses last year I believe), but they do exist.

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      And you were right [wikipedia.org], they made 6800, 68k, 88k, ARM, and PowerPC-based products, as well as some DSPs.

    • by Darinbob (1142669)

      Well, tons of companies make ARM SoCs, very often internal stuff that no one hears about. ("tons" is a technical unit of measurement)

      I'm confused here though. ARM is a chip, a piece of hardware. Android is an operating system, a piece of hardware. The summary makes it sound like these two are incompatible choices. Can't they have both ARM and Android at the same time?

  • There's a mobile handset platform, recently downgraded to redheaded step child status and soon to be locked in the basement by the largest cell phone manufacturer in the world. It's a very nice platform. It could use the boost a company like Motorola investing in it and joining up with Intel in supporting it.

    MeeGo [meego.com].

    Unfortunately, I don't think Motorola has much interest in putting an actual open platform on their phones. Pity.
  • by Dynamoo (527749) on Friday March 25, 2011 @08:48AM (#35610730) Homepage
    There's a difference between ditching something and building an alternative. Motorola are a bit unusual in that they are almost 100% committed to Android on smartphones (there are some Enterprise devices that still run Windows 6.5 though). HTC, Samsung, LG and even Nokia have a multi-platform smartphone approach.

    Yes, there are vendors working on their own OSes. BlackBerry has its QNX based OS. HP bought webOS when it acquired Palm. Samsung has Bada. Out of these, Bada has been around the longest and it isn't exactly a roaring success.. I don't think anyone ever has woken up in the morning and decided that they'd go and buy a Bada device because of the platform. QNX and webOS still have the opportunity to fail very hard indeed..

    Still, you don't get anywhere in that business by not making an effort to try new approaches. And at the moment, Moto has pretty much bet the barn on Android which must sometimes be a bit worrying for them.

    • And another thing.. (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Dynamoo (527749) on Friday March 25, 2011 @09:12AM (#35611032) Homepage
      And another thing.. Moto only bet the barn on Android on the back of some shockingly bad management decisions. For years they just kept recycling the RAZR.. about two dozen times.. until almost all their customer base had vanished. For most of 2009 they didn't announce any new products of not AT ALL until they kicked off with their Android line. By the time they got to making the CLIQ / DEXT, they were drinking in the last chance saloon.

      As a result of this, Moto's presence outside the US is very weak. Probably the most significant partnership they have is with Verizon Wireless, and the new CDMA iPhone is surely going to be hurting sales. Carriers and distributors outside of the US are non enthusiastic when they're already carrying HTC and Samsung Android phones.

      IMO, Moto's Android phones (and I use one everyday) are just as good as the competition. But unfortunately, they're not really BETTER than the competition..

      • by timholman (71886)

        And another thing.. Moto only bet the barn on Android on the back of some shockingly bad management decisions. For years they just kept recycling the RAZR.. about two dozen times.. until almost all their customer base had vanished.

        Motorola self-destructed when it hopped onto the "six sigma" bandwagon back in the 80's. Even today, most of the energy of Motorola management is still expended on "improving" internal processes while ignoring the external market and neglecting innovation while entire product lin

    • by Svartalf (2997)

      Uh... Bada's been around the longest when compared to the others? WebOS was in development before Bada was announced. QNX dates back to...well...my college days over two and a half decades ago.

    • by herojig (1625143)
      I agree with your last point, and was waiting for someone to notice. This is the way mega tech companies have operated since the '60s. Remember IBM? They hated the idea of handing over a software platform to anyone else, let alone a group of folks barely old enough to shave. But back then, that was even unthinkable and out of the realm of possibilities. Perhaps the execs at Motorola are thinking of going back to the old days, where the needs of the bottom line were almost always met. Good for them, and best
  • If this report is true, then something is surely wrong at Motorola. How can you ditch an OS that is licensed for free, and is 'open' to tweaking to your taste? This boggles my mind.

    Let's look at the iOS for a second. If Motorola wishes to replicate even half of iOS' success, they must understand that iOS is selling on it's merits. I just do not get it. Geeks don't like the iOS because it's "closed." But the rest of the world doesn't care, because it [just] works and it's a very good price for what it is. An

    • by puto (533470)
      Actually, Motorola got screwed by apple when they were in bed together for the Rokr E1 and Apple decided in the middle of the deal that maybe getting into the cell phone market could be profitable, so they crippled the deal and the phone.
    • by mlts (1038732) *

      Motorola has good hardware, but here is one fact they fail to understand about competing against Apple:

      I buy an iPhone. I know, due to Apple's history that the phone will receive OS updates for at least two years, or at the minimum, until two subsequent model releases (so if I have an iPhone 4, it won't be until the iPhone 6 that Apple stops making OS updates for it.)

      I buy a Motorola phone. It might receive one OS update, but after six months, the device is completely abandoned, and with the signed kernel

      • by swb (14022)

        Quick obsolescence made sense in the phone market when all you were selling, really, were disposable handsets that made calls and had very primitive "app" functionality (tic-tac-toe, calculator, etc). Nobody gave a shit if their firmware wasn't updatable the day after the phone was purchased because all they cared was that it kept a charge and could make calls.

        Now that phones are basically computer platforms, people want to keep up and not feel like they have a dumb smart phone that is obsolete the minute

    • by t2t10 (1909766)

      But the rest of the world doesn't care, because it [just] works and it's a very good price for what it is.

      Provided by "just works" you mean "doesn't let you do much", "makes you navigate through endless menus", and "requires you to install and deal with cumbersome and buggy desktop software".

  • pfft motoroloa (Score:4, Insightful)

    by spottedkangaroo (451692) * on Friday March 25, 2011 @09:18AM (#35611116) Homepage
    I say this is great news. I would never (ever) buy a Motorola android device anyway. They don't get it. If the device is all locked down so you can't swap the firmware, then it isn't an android device in the most meaningful sense (openness). That's not to say that android doesn't have openness problems. You can make an argument about that if you desire. I don't really care. But what I do care about is this locked down DRM code signing BS. If I can't run what I want on the device, you can fucking keep it.
    • by whoever57 (658626)

      They don't get it. If the device is all locked down so you can't swap the firmware, then it isn't an android device in the most meaningful sense (openness)

      What would you recommend instead of the Motorola phones, assuming a key requirement is a slide-out keyboard and running on T-Mobile's network?

      • Webos. The pre3 is coming out... HP/Palm supports root shells on the linux computers and the platform is just fun. The downside is that nobody uses webos. I'm not going to quit using webos until the literally make me because the ruin it or it finally dies.
  • The Android enthusiast community has largely ditched Motorola because of their decision to use encrypted bootloaders -- makes sense that they'd return the favor, I guess.
    • by mlts (1038732) *

      Problem is, it is not just Moto who is doing locked bootloaders, signed kernels, and other crap. All the other guys are doing it too (HTC, Dell, Samsung, LG, and I think ZTC).

      The only exception are the Google development phones, the ADP1, ADP2, Nexus, and Nexus S.

      This leaves a nice market opportunity for a company that can make and sell a high end, completely unlocked device. It wouldn't just sell to the modders, but it would sell to anyone who felt like having a cool device that would get new features as

      • by mdm-adph (1030332)
        Well, the signed stuff that the other guys are doing isn't nearly as bad -- it takes work, but it can be cracked. The Thunderbolt, for instance, was fully cracked after only a few days. Motorola's phones, however, can never be cracked, unless they release the encryption keys, or some poor employee steals them and releases them (which doesn't look very probable).
        • by mlts (1038732) *

          Is there a good FAQ on this that you can point to? I'd like a URL on why a signed kernel is crackable and not the end of the world, while Moto's encrypted bootloaders are impossible. These differences are important (especially when steering people to what phones to buy.) It would be nice for a "dummies" guide to this stuff I can point people to.

          • by mdm-adph (1030332)
            No problem at all -- most of my information I get from XDA forums (kinda the Mecca for all hacking and cracking mobile phones): http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=996616 [xda-developers.com] Now, I'm am in now way an expert in this stuff, but from what I can gather, you're apparently able to bypass the checks for signed kernels -- I don't think the signing itself is "cracked." "Encrypted bootloaders" work completely differently and on a much lower level -- there's apparently no way to bypass it.
    • The Android enthusiast community has largely ditched Motorola because of their decision to use encrypted bootloaders -- makes sense that they'd return the favor, I guess.

      Motorola isn't the only company out there that makes a decent phone. I happen to like the LG Optimus T over Motorola's low end Citrus. Also, HTC has come out with a nice product. Can you blame the community for telling Motorola where they can cram it. Consumers want to actually own the device that they have purchased. High-end Android phones have gotten as expensive as computers (if you don't want a contract) and when you buy the computer, at the very least, you can throw Linux, BSD, or just about what

      • by hedwards (940851)

        The problem is that they might think that they owned the device. Remember just because you were told you were paying to own something, doesn't mean you actually bought anything. Or at least that's what a lot of companies want you to believe. Consequently, why would they let you damage their property by modding it?

  • by DaMattster (977781) on Friday March 25, 2011 @09:48AM (#35611488)
    The Android train has already left the station and Motorola wants to try and play catch-up with a smartphone OS? One of the most appealing aspect of the Android platform is its very openness. Why would I leave Android for a closed platform when it was such a breath of fresh air to tell Apple and its iPhone to pound sand? Think of Palm's attempt at an Android alternative and the Windows 7 Phone OS is a joke. I should think, Motorola's vast resources would be better spent not trying to re-invent the wheel but to continue to improve it.
    • by mlts (1038732) *

      There is one thing Android has which is going to be more and more important as time goes on: Apps.

      Right now, Android's apps are not as polished as the iPhones, but give the platform time. Because there is no app approval phase, Android app developers can have a very fast development cycle which would allow the platform to catch up eventually with app quality on average.

      Motorola going with another smartphone OS is not going to go over well -- people will wonder why they can't get Angry Birds or another mai

    • The Android train has already left the station and Motorola wants to try and play catch-up with a smartphone OS? One of the most appealing aspect of the Android platform is its very openness. Why would I leave Android for a closed platform when it was such a breath of fresh air to tell Apple and its iPhone to pound sand? Think of Palm's attempt at an Android alternative and the Windows 7 Phone OS is a joke. I should think, Motorola's vast resources would be better spent not trying to re-invent the wheel but to continue to improve it.

      One could have said the same about Android with regards to iOS. And Android's vaunted openness seems to be a bit of a bait and switch now that Google has taken a tighter grip on the source.

      • Android's openness was never for us consumers. The idea was (is) that by pooling every other phone maker in the planet, they could catch up with iOS and eliminate the vast library of apps as an advantage by evading fragmentation, since no single vendor could contend with the iPhone's massive success. It worked perfectly. But Motorola deciding that they need to ship more fragmented, buggier, crappier phones seems, if not logical, at least very much predictable. This is, after all, the company that sold the V
  • Can someone explain to me why in the mobile phone market, everything all participating companies do revolves around control, control and absolute control?

    Control may be a means to an end, that is profit, but it's neither the only nor a guaranteed successful one. So why does everyone focus on control?

    Is it just the mindset of the entire industry that is perspiring through every product and service or does it have true profitable goals? Is it possible that everyone is thinking Apple's succeeded only because o

    • If I was CEO of a Smartphone company, I'd release two two versions of every phone. One that was locked down with signed OS and Firmware, and one that is open. One for the average guy to keep his phone safe and secure and fully ... in control. The other open and uncontrolled. Just to shut the geeks up.

      I have a Droid X, a locked phone. I'm a geek. People I know with unlocked phones have significantly more problems than I do. I don't think this is a coincidence. Some People, like me, just want a phone that isn

  • I think I saw it on reddit, but someone suggested that an in-house Web OS would be more likely targeted at the webtop docks introduced with the Atrix. Motorola did say they want that functionality added to all their smartphones. That seems to make a lot more sense than Motorola ditching Android on their phones. I think it would have been an obvious development effort for Google to have had this kind of docking functionality be a core feature of ChromeOS from the beginning.
    • by Svartalf (2997)

      Considering that the dock's just circuitry tied back to something like the Atrix, there's no OS as such on the device.

  • Motorola was notorious for having the worst user interfaces ever for their phones even while having some of the nicest hardware. They are hardware company and a good one. They suck at software. It's obvious they should stick with what they do best. At the very least this should have been a skunk works project. If it's a hedge against the legal brouhaha surrounding Android they are just making things worse by confusing the market rather than re-assuring folks they have a back-up plan. It makes them loo

  • Oh Motorola, you are the Sony of the mobile world. You want so bad to be the coolest kid on the block but you come off as just another kid who tries too hard and fails miserably with your wacky ideas that never quite pan out.

    Motorola and Sony should partner up and then we can look forward to two companies putting out all sorts of crappy proprietary junk that never takes off and lots of privacy invasion and a ton of sad attempts to lock down their crappy IP so that even the people that are so misguided as t

  • I doubt it. They are still struggling to get Motoblur finished, I seriously doubt they'd be able to field a consumer grade OS if they can't even get Motoblur out the door. Application and OS layer is not their strong point as a company, they would be better off of they just focused on hardware, Mark
  • ...and yet another platform for App developers to target. It won't work.

    From a marketing perspective it's suicide. Everyone wants iOS or Android nowadays, because it's sexy, it's all the rage, and because of the huge number of Apps you can get from their stores. And with Microsoft entering the arena, I very much doubt there is space for anyone else.

    I predict a painful death like for Symbian, only quick instead of slow.

    • ...and yet another platform for App developers to target. It won't work.

      From a marketing perspective it's suicide. Everyone wants iOS or Android nowadays, because it's sexy, it's all the rage, and because of the huge number of Apps you can get from their stores.

      Actually, whether you call it Android, WebOS or Meego, it's all Linux , and as such it's not a big deal to jump between them. The bigger issue is Java vs C++, and I for one, would jump at the chance to develop native apps without Java annoyances (C++ annoyances instead). And I don't really care about the GUI so long as I can get an OpenGL surface and input events in some standard way. I would hazard a guess that my preferences are shared by a large fraction of developers, especially those who are going to m

  • ...is like giving a chimpanzee a pistol. The reason Android had to come into being is that telcos and hardware mfrs like Motorola are *completely* *fucking* *incompetent* when it comes to operating systems and user interfaces. Though in a way this move makes sense for Motorola's corporate culture. Like AT&T, Sony, and Comcast, they hate to do anything that is good for customers.
  • Motorola spun off the semiconductor business over 10 years ago, remember? MotoMo has no fab, no server banks running layout software, no mask making facilities. MIT and UVermont have them lapped ten times before anybody at MotoMo could even think, "gee, could we make our own chips?"

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