In what can only be described as a truly "WTF" moment, an inside source has informed Information Week that Motorola is in the process of developing its own web-based mobile OS. The question everyone is undoubtedly wants to ask is "why?"
The insider cites Motorola's frustration with Google's support of manufacturers, Android's fragmentation problems, and the difficulty of product differentiation in an Android-saturated smartphone market. These things together, says the tipster, have led Moto to believe Google is "shooting itself in the foot." The source of this rumor cites the fact that Motorola has quietly been picking up numerous former Apple and Adobe employees to work on the project over the past few months.
So, what is Motorola thinking? Have they completely lost their minds? It's sometimes easy to forget that handset manufacturers and Android share a rather young and restless love - the G1 was released two-and-a-half years ago, and the original DROID more than a year after that. By contrast, Motorola has been in the cell phone business nearly 30 years - and such longevity is often associated with a (sometimes unnecessarily) cautious approach.
Motorola certainly hasn't suffered for its relationship with Android, on the contrary - Android was Motorola's life-raft in an RIM and Apple-infested Smartphone Sea. Still, the seemingly BFFs have been acquainted less than two years, and there's nothing to say that the mutual benefits of that relationship couldn't start losing their appeal. Motorola has an interest in making its products stand out from the crowd, and Google in ensuring it doesn't look like it's playing favorites with some major manufacturers at the expense of others.
There's no denying that such factors necessarily create some friction, and if Motorola decides it's getting rubbed the wrong way, a decision to start putting a few eggs in a "plan B" basket might not be so hard to understand. Still, a Motorola OS? I'd probably take the blur-iest MOTOBLUR available over something Moto has cooked up in its own kitchen.