Aug 15 AT 4:28 PM Dustin Earley 23 Comments

Motosoft: the acquisition that wasn’t


Has it sunk in yet? Google has seriously bought Motorola Mobility. And all the hardware manufacturing, software development, patents and talent that come with it. Apple and Microsoft payed $4 billion for less than half that amount of patents alone. Google has pulled a “rope-a-dope,” has “sandbagged” their rivals, and boy do I bet they feel great. The Big G has made a wonderfully smart move, and because of it, Android’s future looks brighter than ever. But when all is said and done, the speed and ease with which everything seems to have gone down almost seem a little odd, doesn’t it? Did Motorola up and sell themselves to Google because they came knocking, one friend to another, trying to help each other out? Of course not.

According to an exclusive article out of GigaOm this afternoon, Google wasn’t alone in the quest for Motorola. Microsoft, along with several others, were in on the bidding war to acquire the company. Microsoft clearly had a lot to gain if they were to acquire Motorola. Not only would they have had thousands of mobile-related patents to add to their already monstrous arsenal, but they could have put Windows Phone 7 on more devices, expanded Live deeper into the living room and explored other hardware-related options among others. It’s speculated however, that patents were the only thing motivating Motorola. That alone may have played a key role in how the acquisition was played out.

It’s not exactly crystal clear why Motorola would choose Google over Microsoft, but you can bet money wasn’t the only factor involved. Google and Motorola are a good fit. Google will most likely use Motorola to further Android and continue to extend their products beyond mobile phones. They could keep Motorola busy for many years to come with ambitious hardware-related products, and that’s exactly what Motorola was looking for. Microsoft? Not so much. Could you imagine the news had Microsoft won? Not everything said about the acquisition is all good today, but had Microsoft been the one to close the deal, it would have been much, much worse.

Source: GigaOm

Dustin Earley: Tech enthusiast; avid gamer; all around jolly guy.

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  • codesplice

    The “Googarola” news has certainly put (and kept!) me in a much better mood than an average Monday in August would otherwise merit.

    That feeling would be very much different if Microsoft had purchased one of the largest Android-loving OEMs.

  • Sumyunguy


  • Coolaaron88

    how are any of us to assume what would of happened had Motorola been acquired by Microsoft?


    Are we collectively wiping our foreheads right now? I know I am. Microsoft would have grabbed a hold of Motorola things would have really been ugly for Google. Like a trout swimming around in tank full of sharks. Luckily Google forged a private alliance and helped Moto from certain death a few years ago. If you ask me while money was important in the deal, i am sure moto had a certain level of allegiance to Google. That may have been what separated the them from the rest

    • Dustin Earley

      It’s not like Android brought them back from the dead or anything…

      • BiGMERF

        forgive me if i am wrong but before the Droid I cant remember anything worth wild after the Razr (besides some Nextel crap). Droid was major for them.

        • ihatefanboys

          “worth wild” ?? intentional ? or do u really not know its “worthwhile”

          • Duh

            Seriously nobody cares.

        • geah

          Google/Android definitely revived Motorola, and even though the Razr sold well it was a horrible device.

          • Dirty_Azkals

            ^^ saw a Razr today at work, no mistaking that body styling.

        • Sean

          It is worthwhile because of the patent library has, not the current or past lineup of cell phones. As a matter of fact, that is probably the least of the important details considering Google has already said that the Nexus program isn’t going to change the way it does business. This is about playing a defensive roll against Microsoft and Apple in the patent lawsuits.

      • inviolable

        Sarcastic, correct?

  • mmalakai10

    hip hip horray. im proud of google closing the deal with motorola. now maybe apple and microsoft will back off a little and google can flex is muscles to get breathing room. now i would like to know whats up with the nexus brand.

    • elarella

      Motorola will still have to bid on being the OEM for the Nexus brand just like the other OEMs. Google won’t be partial to Motorola when it comes to making the Nexus brand.

  • nicxus

    Now lets see Google do this for Google TV.

  • Steve505

    Had Microsoft purchased Motorola, I think it would of meant death for Android.

  • Mike Leahy

    Well.. At least they didn’t sit around like during the Sun acquisition (goodness if MS or another mobile associated player got this one!); perhaps that got them over the whole absorbing massive amounts of employees / different product dev areas of the target company as that seemed to be a consideration on why they may have held off on making a serious bid for Sun. I guess the nice thing is that while a potential expansion of product area focus it overlaps better on the hardware side with Android compared to Sun (IE server hardware). Just to think if they absorbed Sun and Motorola Mobility! It’s on now!

  • SliestDragon

    Yes, Microsoft buying Motorola would have been much worse. So many patents against Android and Google, plus a good chunk of the Android phones out there would probably loose support.

    • Interpol91

      Sure is a good thing. Hopefully this is a new beginning t for Google/Android where they can now further build upon the patent war chest.

  • Harad Al Salami

    Thank God that didn’t happen!

  • Sean the Electrofreak

    “Apple and Microsoft paid $4 billion…”
    Fixed. Sorry, I’m OCD about grammar.

  • sylar

    Well this is a positive development for android. I don’t want to think about what would have happened in the long run if Microsoft had gotten their grubby little mitts on all those patents.

  • ysleiro

    Goodness gracious people. I understand we are Android fans but are the lights off or something? Why don’t we talk about the 800lb gorilla in the room?

    1) MS was in the process of suing Moto. Which means MS must have felt they stood a chance to win against Moto and their patent collection. So is it possible for Google to have inherited a loss to MS here? The lawsuit has not concluded so this is something to keep in mind.

    2) Now that Moto is owned by Google Moto WILL get preferential treatment. That is am undeniable fact. At the very least they will know production schedules and have access to code before anyone else does. 3rd party manufacturers chimed in today about the Moto deal. They may seem happy but in the back of their mind they probably are worried about their future with Android since they now compete with Google on hardware sales. This doubt could end up favoring other OSs such as WP7.