First, let me disclose that I am a Motorola stockholder. Let me follow that up by saying Information Week is reporting probably the dumbest news Motorola could let out right now. My mouse is hovering over the button to short their stock as I try and figure out what the hell they’re doing.
According to an article in Information Week, and inside source (aka blabbermouth) said Motorola is working on a web based OS to hedge its bets against Android. Ok, so being safe isn’t a bad thing, the stockholder in me agrees with this. Secondly, I agree that it’s a good idea not to rely on a single supplier.
The developer in me, on the other hand, wants to go bitch-slap some mid-level executive for speaking to the press about such a project. They shouldn’t be throwing blood in the water, they’re not Apple.
Motorola is a company with a storied pedigree of technical excellence. However, that pedigree seems to be currently managed by people with the IQ of the last winner of the Westminster Dog Show. No offense to Hickory, the Scottish Deerhound who won best in show.
Speaking of dogs, I remember some of the phones they made in the past; back when there was “real” fragmentation in the mobile space. Different Bluetooth chipsets isn’t “fragmentation”, nor are different screen sizes, or USB or HDMI ports. People don’t say Windows is fragmented because it runs on desktops and laptops, do they? Really folks, get serious. If the win32 API was different on every machine with different hardware, that’d be fragmentation.
How Motorola thinks this is a good thing to let leak considering their quote-unquote stellar technical successes in the cell phone space avoids me. It’s a good thing they’re working to pick up some former Apple and Adobe employees to try and pull it off. However, they need to do this in a clean room style fashion. In my opinion, they’d do better to reveal this when it was almost done; maybe targeted at a vertical market like health care.
Despite the quoted belief that Google is shooting our favorite little green droid in the foot; Motorola has seen a resurgence of technical respectability in the consumer market on the heels of Android’s success.
This is FUD of magnificent orchestration. I wish I knew the marketing / PR firm behind it all because they’re really starting to get people to buy it. It reminds me of the successful messaging that consumers are counter culture for buying a major consumer brand.
It’s my belief that all of this is stemming from the various lawsuits and claims that Android copyright violations. Motorola may be wanting to distance themselves from any negative fall out. I wish Sun had sold to Google instead of Oracle. I really, really do.
Maybe they know something the rest of us don’t?
Either way, Linus Torvalds himself weighed in and said the following :
"It seems totally bogus," Torvalds told IT World’s Brian Proffitt. "We’ve always made it very clear that the kernel system call interfaces do not in any way result in a derived work as per the GPL."
Basically, Motorola, keep your collective mouth’s shut before you shoot yourself in the foot and end up pissing off the supplier of the biggest, fast growing mobile platform in the world. The same platform that has benefited you oh, so much recently.
Oh, and send me a free Xoom? I’d like that. kthxbye.