Why Motorola shouldn't make their own mobile OS
For being only three months into 2011, there seem to be an awful lot of rumors floating around already. And Motorola seems to be a name that keeps popping up. If a rumor that the company is second-guessing the Motorola XOOM Android-powered tablet doesn’t have you intrigued, then perhaps the idea that the company is working on their own mobile operating system will pique your interest. We’ve already talked about why, if Motorola does move ahead with a Plan B it could be a potentially good idea, but the more I think about it the more I’m not so sure I want another mobile OS popping up on the market any time soon.
I’m a fan of competition. I especially love watching competition when it “borrows” certain elements of another popular operating system, and those elements are subsequently tried to improve upon. We can see the similarities between Research In Motion’s QNX Software (which is debuting on the company’s PlayBook tablet device) and HP’s webOS mobile OS, and there are plenty of other similarities between other operating systems out there. But it’s the differences that matter, and if they aren’t interesting enough against the competition, then there’s no real point.
If Motorola wants to make their own mobile OS, then more power to them. As it’s been said before, there’s nothing wrong with a Plan B. In fact, it’s probably a good idea. But, there are other ways to have a Plan B. Case in point, Motorola; you could very well start producing handsets that feature Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 mobile OS. The potential in that OS is obvious, and with more manufacturers creating high-end devices, the desire for those handsets will increase. Even if the software side of things isn’t differentiated much on the top layer, Motorola could create their own Hub within Windows Phone 7 and add features within that Hub that other manufacturers don’t have. That’d be a great way to show off your recently hired software engineer's potential, without having to create a whole new mobile OS in the process.
And, while Samsung’s Bada OS isn’t doing all that poorly, it isn’t doing all that fantastic, either. But, Samsung’s not indebted to their own mobile OS by any means. In all honesty, it’s not even the Plan B for the company, but more like Plan C. Samsung has Android and Windows Phone 7 to play around with, so Bada can be seen more like a hobby than anything else. For Motorola, they’ve tossed their eggs into the Android basket, and now it sounds like they’re wondering how good of a decision that was in the long-term.
Personally, I don’t think Motorola should create their own mobile OS. If it’s for feature phones, then maybe I would agree with the move. But not for smartphones, especially not with the competition that’s currently present in that market. Simply because, looking at MOTOBLUR as any kind of indicator, Motorola’s proprietary mobile OS couldn’t compete. I would think it would be a better option for Motorola to start looking at Windows Phone 7, and make some stand-out hardware with that mobile OS under the hood. If Nokia can do it, so can you, Motorola.
What do you think of these rumors? Do you want to see Motorola create their own mobile OS and see what happens? Or do you think Android’s the way that Motorola should keep on truckin’? Let me know in the comments below.
UPDATE: Motorola got in touch with us, wanting to clarify their position on the rumor that's being tossed around. Here's what they have to say:
"Motorola Mobility remains committed the Android operating system. We have hired employees with HTML skills to enable the best browsing experience to consumers and our strategic focus on the Android platform has not changed."
Looks like Motorola is sticking to Android for the foreseeable future, which will be good news to anyone who's been eagerly anticipating what Motorola has cooking in the lab for the later part of this year. Plus, it's never a bad thing to hear a company is better our browsing esperience on our mobile devices.