Google Says Hello Moto
This morning, the hot news has been that the search and software giant Google has acquired Motorola Mobility.
I’ve been trying to think about what this means for the tech world.
I have a lot of respect for Google. They do business unlike most, and provide some innovative thinking behind how we use the web. My fear is for Motorola. Generally not seen as the most revolutionary of companies, how will it deal with a culture-shift? How will the hardware business change the way Google does business?
So, doing what most do after seeing “big” tweets, I tried to find the source. Sure enough, Google released a post on their blog about it early this morning. And then I read it.
What a bunch of whiny ninnies.
We recently explained how companies including Microsoft and Apple are banding together in anti-competitive patent attacks on Android. The U.S. Department of Justice had to intervene in the results of one recent patent auction to “protect competition and innovation in the open source software community” and it is currently looking into the results of the Nortel auction. Our acquisition of Motorola will increase competition by strengthening Google’s patent portfolio, which will enable us to better protect Android from anti-competitive threats from Microsoft, Apple and other companies.
-Larry Page, CEO
I get it. You feel like you are getting squashed. This is another venue for you to talk about your “openness”. But really? You are Google. Don’t just sit there whining about what patent laws are doing to you, go invent a new way to do something.
Is “openness” hurting Google? Is Android getting too hard? Think about it. They just bought a phone company, so that they can build their products better. I get it, and it’s a great idea. I’m excited to see what comes of it. However, by creating the hardware and the OS for the phone, isn’t that one step closer to a closed loop process? Sure the OS will remain hackable and more freedom for development, but then you build the OS to take advantage of the hardware that you build. This action isn’t going to shut other phone manufacturers out, I’m sure. But it creates one less step to a controlled ecosystem – something that Google has adamantly spoken against.
But, they’ll say it’s about the experience. Oh wait, they did:
The combination of Google and Motorola will not only supercharge Android, but will also enhance competition and offer consumers accelerating innovation, greater choice, and wonderful user experiences. I am confident that these great experiences will create huge value for shareholders.
The user experience is all that matters. That’s part of the reason why Apple with iPhone and iPad, and iOS, has been so successful. The experience is there, and controlled throughout to the best of Apple’s ability.
Google being more open has a harder time getting manufacturers to build off a certain hardware specification. Will this solve the problem? No, but Google will start building (or branding) phones that work best with their devices. Then again, knowing Motorola, there will be plenty of devices that offer “entry” opportunities into the smart phone (and not so smart) environment.
It will be very interesting to see, that’s for sure. Android has, and always will have, a place in market. Now controlling both software and hardware, will it change who Google is?