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Motorola may make web-based OS to avoid leaning on Android

updated 02:30 pm EDT, Wed March 23, 2011

Motorola said poaching Apple, Adobe to make own OS

Motorola is quietly building a team to develop its own mobile OS and get away from its heavy dependence on Android, an insider said late Tuesday. Engineers have supposedly been quietly poached from Adobe and Apple over the past nine months. One of them, software engineering VP Gilles Drieu, headed Apple's rich media and apps group, and was important to Apple participating in web standards groups like the W3C, InformationWeek found out.

Neither Motorola nor its recent hires would comment on the rumor.

Officially, Motorola has publicly turned down Windows Phone as an alternative but has also said that it wouldn't want to have an OS of its own without a full ecosystem. Recent acquisitions might support talk of a web-focused OS, however, such as web app supporter 280 North and ZumoDrive creator Zecter for its cloud storage. Mobile security firm 3LM could play a role in keeping it secure.

The strategy could be at least a partial slap at Android and a worry from Motorola that it's getting too close to Google. Every smartphone the company makes is Android-based, and the platform itself makes up an increasing portion of its sales. Any drop-off in interest for Android, such as after the Verizon iPhone, could create a problem across the entire company. Microsoft's lawsuit against Motorola for Android patents may have also pushed it to create its own OS and prevent the worst if a trade ban blocks imports of Android phones.

Few companies make their own OS, but those that do and are skilled at it, such as Apple and RIM, have usually been the more successful in the phone market.

by MacNN Staff



  1. BlueGonzo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    to bad

    To bad they didn't consider buying Palm before it became a part of HP. I think that this strategy doesn't work. You just get one more OS platform with a non existent eco system.

  1. The Vicar

    Joined: Dec 1969



    "Our lawyers have determined that Oracle's suit against Google over Android's unlicensed use of patents has merit, everyone knows Google isn't going to be able to buy it's way out, and we don't want to be the only company left without an alternative when Android becomes illegal. Of course, until we're sure that Oracle isn't just hoping for a moderate cash settlement, we're going to pretend we're unaware of what's going on in case recognizing the state of affairs makes us liable for something."

  1. Joe05

    Joined: Dec 1969



    It seems a little late to do anything now, if any of this is actually true you'd think that Motorola would have realized this earlier.

    The backlash against Android seems to be growing with Microsoft,Apple,Oracle coming after Google.

    Google has the resources to battle Apple and the other titans, but imagine being a smaller player with the prospects of getting sued into oblivion.

    I guess there's no such thing as free in Android.

  1. SockRolid

    Joined: Dec 1969


    HP should license WebOS

    Remember how pundits used to say that Apple should license Mac OS? Way back in the '90s? (Not talking about Mac Clones here.)

    Maybe HP should license WebOS. It would help them with market share eventually. OEMs like Motorola could hedge their bets and switch over to WebOS on all their products after Android has been killed off. Not if but when.

    And yes, The Vicar nailed it. The Oracle lawsuit does have merit, and there is legal precedent in the Sun vs. Microsoft case. Microsoft paid $20 million in damages for Java 1.1 licensing violations and were forced to stop shipping their Java Virtual Machine entirely.

    Android is doomed. All because the original developer from whom Google bought Android tried to do an end-run around the Java licensing agreement. Maybe Google's lawyers should look up the term "due diligence." I'm sure it's in Wikipedia somewhere.

  1. chippie

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Android Will Survive

    and if it must cost then google will win also.

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