Mar 23 AT 1:06 PM Taylor Wimberly 16 Comments

Motorola is still committed to Android, also making their own web-based OS

Last year we reported that Motorola might be working on their own operating system when they acquired mobile platform company Azingo and now new reports confirm this is still their strategy. Thomas Claburn of InformationWeek reports that Motorola has gone on a hiring spree and picked up a number of experienced web engineers from Adobe and Apple in an effort to develop their own web-based operating system.

Jonathan Goldberg, an analyst with Deutsche Bank in San Francisco, also reported the same thing. In a phone interview with InformationWeek he said, “I know they’re working on it. I think the company recognizes that they need to differentiate and they need options, just in case. Nobody wants to rely on a single supplier.”

When asked to comment, Motorola did not deny the accusations. Their response was, “Motorola Mobility is committed to Android as an operating system.”

An unnamed person familiar with Motorola’s plans said, “Google is shooting itself in the foot.” Motorola has “concerns about Android fragmentation, product differentiation, and issues related to Google’s support for its partners.”

This news should come with little surprise as Motorola Mobility CEO Sanjay Jha previously hinted that he wanted to create his own operating system. In a Q1 2010 earnings call he said, “I’ve always felt that owning your OS is important, provided you have an ecosystem, you have all the services and you have an ability and the scale to execute on keeping that OS at the leading edge. And I continue to believe that at some point, if we have all of those attributes, that owning our own OS will be a very important thing.”

Just as Motorola is dual-sourcing their components from different hardware vendors, Motorola wants to have a second OS strategy just in case Android does not go the way they want.

Google and Motorola continue to remain close partners, so I don’t think we should have any fear that Motorola will abandon Android, but it is something to keep an eye on.

Source: Information Week

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • acupunc

    I think they are just getting talent to develop webtop for Android. . . not a whole new mobile OS–if Nokia couldn’t make it work does Motorola really have a chance?

    Webtop will help them differentiate and create products that are more laptop/desktop like but still powered by a mobile device running Android. . . but who know what these companies think.

  • http://Website Meister_Li

    Yeah… Let’s Motorola just turn into Samsung.

    Making Windows Phones, Android phones and Bada Phones. Also CPUs for Apple. Wheeee! But, if you look at it, you’ll notice that neither Windows Phones nor Bada phones are terribly successful (Bada is somewhat successful since the phones are entry price phones). Just use the developers working on stuff that won’t get it’s money back to better your Android support and updates.

    You CAN differentiate yourself via Software. HTC did it, and in part that’s because they update their phones on a regular schedule.

    Also, setting yourself with negative points by locking bootloaders and terrible european/not-flagship-device service? Not the best strategy, Motorola.

  • http://Website Alex

    They shouldn’t talk about fragmentation when they don’t even update their phones unless its verizon, like cliq xt

  • http://Website Ramshambo

    They have a hard time with developing a decent UI skin. Not sure if Motorola would really be up to the task of building an OS.

  • Digital Jedi

    Motorola can’t be serious. Problems with Android fragmentation?! This from the company that refuses to update certain handsets. Please. And Android fragmentation is NOT Goggle’s fault. It’s OEM’s like Motorola that keep making handsets that aren’t up to date. And Android fragmentation is no worse than iOS, Windows, Symbian and Blackberry fragmentation. At least Android doesn’t impose hardware restrictions on updating handsets. So in all actuality, Android fragmentation isn’t Google’s fault. It’s the OEM’s and carriers fault.

  • http://Website AceoStar

    No please

  • http://Website locked

    does it reboot?

  • http://Website Mark

    So let me get this straight. A company makes an OS and says “Hey, this is open source. Put it on whatever device you want. IF you want, feel free to put your own custom UI on it as well”. Another company comes along makes several cheap phones (Cliq, I’m looking at you) that they know will be outdated in a matter of weeks and slaps their own UI on it. Also knowing fully well that it won’t be compatible/difficult to update to future OS updates. Yet, said company complains of fragmentation??? Who is to blame, Gee, I wonder….

  • http://Website AME

    If there’s any fragmentation, it’s hardware fragmentation (if that makes any sense). I feel bad for the developers making apps… they have to code for all sorts of arbitrary hardware specs. It’s not the OS though; the proof of that is flashing Froyo on a G1- the OS is compatible.

    Even if they get their OS up and running, how many devices do they expect to put to market with it? Is it really that profitable? They sound like they’re just passing the buck for their lack of Android OS updates.

  • JasonW

    Motorola needs a new logo.

    It looks like a topdown view of Madonna’s bra .

    • http://Website Diego Madonna

      no, its two ku-klux-klan members chatting with each other…

      • http://Website 734

        holy sh that makes sense :D you have good eyes….

  • Bobby Mikels

    With the birth of Motorola Atrix and with the success of their “webtop application”, it seems that the development of their own Operating System is coming into reality. But the big question is if Motorola can stand alone without the help of Google’s Android OS. Let’s admit it, half of their success can be credited to Android. There is only one way to find out, Test the water Motorola! We are all waiting!

    • http://Website Mikey

      You can credit android with alot more than half of motos success, android saved them from bankruptcy oblivion.

  • taras

    Motorola are kinda infuriating.

    GREAT hardware… (it’s rock solid)
    GREAT software… (Android!)

    And yet, they can’t make it work, because they’re obsesed with locking everything down, and never update anything. They’re not committed to Open Source, or to good customer service, and that’s where they fall down.

    I wonder if it’s because they don’t have good coders working for them, or because their management is stuck in the past? Either way, it’s a great shame that the whole of Motorola’s offer is so much less than the sum of its parts.

  • Kraig

    probably a month ago, Motorola went out and said they want to make all their high end phones like the Atrix with the webtop docks by the end of the year, So therefore them wanting to create their own OS, makes perfect sense.

    I think they will keep Android for the phone’s OS, and have it boot into their new OS when connected to an external display, or through their own docking stations.