A few days ago we reported that Motorola may be working on their own OS due to frustrations with Android fragmentation, lack of Google support, and most importantly, difficulty in developing a standout device in an Android-saturated market.

In an attempt to clarify this, Motorola spokeswoman Kira Golin told PCMag.com that "Motorola Mobility is dedicated to Android." But, in an almost condescending manner, she went on to say, "That's our statement, and I can't control how you interpret or print it."

Naturally, there are a few things that bother me about this statement, the first being the fact that they did not deny the existence of an alternate OS. It is well known that Motorola - like any reputable company - wants to have a backup plan in case something "doesn't work out" with their primary vendors, and I can't imagine them feeling any different about software affiliates.

It has also been noted that Moto has been hiring mobile-centric engineers, including some ex-Apple and Adobe employees. This could easily backup up the rumor that Motorola is indeed developing their own OS, right? On one hand, I want to say yes, but as tech blog Technologizer points out, they have already developed an OS.

I'm referring, of course, to Webtop – the "application" developed to run on the lapdock and set-top dock for the Motorola Atrix (and eventually all high-end Moto phones). If Google's own Chrome OS is considered an operating system, why isn't Webtop, especially when we know it's based on Debian?

I'm not one to start a conspiracy theory; I have just seen a lot of useless speculation about what Motorola is really up to, and I want to bring some logic and reason to the table. Do I think that Moto will turn their back on Android? No way. The little green robot has helped them reach the top of their game. With that said, do I think that they want to diversify their products? Maybe. Either way, I have no doubt that Motorola will continue to put out some of the most innovative, top-of-the-line Android devices that we have ever seen.

Source: PCMag.com, Technologizer

Cameron Summerson
Cameron is a self-made geek, Android enthusiast, horror movie fanatic, musician, and cyclist. When he's not pounding keys here at AP, you can find him spending time with his wife and kids, plucking away on the 6-string, spinning on the streets, or watching The Texas Chainsaw Massacre on repeat.

  • Skippy

    That's in case Honey Comb source goes AOSP as google had once said it would.

  • http://trueacu.com acupunc

    I have little doubt that Moto is trying to "round out" WebTop to be more of a full OS. It seems that every hardware manufacturer wants to find some way to lock in users--as if they are all going to be like Apple.

    Personally, I try to avoid the "lock in" rout if at all possible. So, good luck Moto if that's what you are trying to do because I don't be using it.

  • Randy

    Motorola started with their own OS.
    They failed. And now they want to go back to failure?

    People want openess. They want to root.
    Does Motorola even understand what consumers want?
    They lock their phone bootloaders and make it a pain to crack.

    I was initially impressed with the Xoom.
    But as time passed, the Xoom was an overpriced white elephant. You want to fight like apple? You can't even price like apple...

    I was intrigued to check out the Xoom.
    But i think with this going on, I will cross out Motorola permanently from my list of wants.

    I will bloody give you an angle of differentiation... Easy Root!
    Or better motorola ships its phones rooted out of the box. Let consumers do what they want to do with it. Encourage developers to develop on their phones.
    Make it easy for consumers to use multiple roms.

    • Cameron Summerson

      It seems that most manufactures are moving towards a closed, walled-off ecosystem. Open *should* be the future, but I fear that this will not be the case.

  • David Ruddock

    Agreed. Motorola, HTC, Samsung - they all want to be able to use Google as their booster-seat to creating a user environment with the fit and finish of Apple's, and then to try and make their own little walled gardens.

    It's unfortunate, but a reality of business, as these manufacturers will do anything to try and differentiate their products and provide them with "exclusive features" (eg, Sense, Motoblur, TouchWiz).

    An alternative OS is one way to do this, though an OS will probably take years to really develop into a competitive product, Given Android's and iOS's rapid evolution.

    I doubt Moto is planning a move away from Android, but they certainly don't want it be their only option.

  • http://www.linuxreaders.com dhaval thakar

    Isn't android turned Motorola around and increased revenue, then why go building os?

  • Me

    They said something equally rude about their locked bootloaders recently. Well then I will have to problem never buying anything from motorola.

  • Me

    If someone wants to stand out from the crowd when selling android phones, why not sell phones running AOSP phones for once.

  • ari-free

    I just think that BOTH Chrome OS and webtop are total wastes of time. Just work to adapt honeycomb to netbooks.

  • MicroNix

    To say Moto would be ticked because of fragmentation and Google support would be a reckless statement. In fact, any blogger would know that Google pays good lip service to Moto. Afterall, when the early honeycomb videos came out from Google, who's prototype tablet were they using? Who had the first tablet out with honeycomb well ahead of the competition? With the Moto Droid, Droid 2, Droid X which is probably the majority of phones on the largest carrier in the United States which is 55% of all Android phones out there, Moto isn't happy with Google? April fools isn't until Friday guys....

  • Asphyx

    You know you hear so much talk about differentiation and fragmentation in Google.

    Fragmentation = Competition, Consumer Choice if you ask me! LOL

    Bottom line is if you distinguish yourself FROM android your going to lose all that android business!

    All they are really going to accomplish is MORE fragmentation of the phone market. Apps will not be portable to their OS and in the end unless they really leapfrog what Google and iOS is doing it is going to be a big failure!

    Just ask MS with their WP7 sluggish sales.