Motorola’s webtop application, which turns a smartphone into a desktop-like PC experience, will be coming to their entire high-end smartphone portfolio in the second half of this year, according to a presentation by CEO Sanjay Jha at a Morgan Stanley technology conference this week.
Jha pointed out a number of acquisitions and license agreements that his company had made to enhance the overall software experience of their devices. Motorola recently acquired 3LM to augment Android’s enterprise security features, took over Zecter to supply integrated cloud storage and streaming services, and snagged Aloqa to deliver location-based content.
“What we are looking to do is make small acquisitions which differentiate us in the market or create new opportunity,” said Jha.
The handset maker’s new strategy is to transform into more of a software focused company and the webtop app will be a focal point going forward. Jha said, “We are trying to change the culture at Motorola to become a much more software-centric culture. One of the ways to do that is to bring entrepreneurial people with software skills into the company.”
The webtop application has so far been exclusive to the Atrix 4G, but that was described as mainly a timing issue. Jha explained that there were optimizations in their webtop app that were specific to NVIDIA’s graphics processor inside the Tegra 2, but work had already begun to port webtop to other platforms like TI’s OMAP4 with its PowerVR GPU.
Specific details about the future of the webtop application were scarce. Jha said that the full desktop Firefox browser would be upgraded to version 4 later this year, but he did not shed much light on other new features. I’d love to see Motorola support other apps and alternative browsers like Google’s Chrome, but we will have to wait and see what they add next.
Webtop is still pretty limited in what it can do right now, but I think it has potential long term. The web-browsing performance is acceptable when compared to a netbook and later this year we will have faster quad-core preprocessors which should deliver the desktop performance that consumers want.
What direction would you like to see Motorola take their webtop app next?