Google's purchase of Motorola Mobility is one of those things that make you go “hmmm.” The simplest answer is that Google is continuing to bolster their patent portfolio, adding to the IBM patents that they purchased earlier. At a cost of half a million per patent/application, that price tag seems a little steep. Recent news reports are saying that they may have in fact been going after 18 specific patents.
Another thought is that they’re going after Apple by finally being able to control both the os and the hardware, plus they have a social media platform that Apple doesn’t. They could complete the social/mobile combo.
But as I’ve been chatting with other members of my Borg collective, we’ve been pondering how Google’s love of Beta would translate to hardware. “Oh. There’s no 5 key in this release?”
Yet…what if all the hardware had to do was turn on and connect? Is there anything that a phone currently does that for which a webapp doesn’t already exist? Add in some basic I/O work (keyboard, camera, touchscreen, docks and the like) and you could have a shell that is constantly replenished at the fountain of Google Goodness. It is a handheld cloud device, perhaps with normal or super-encrypted mode for those still paranoid about the cloud.
Obviously, with Chromebooks Google has tried this before. Was the concept flawed? Or the form factor?
Schmidt,[in] an interview with Salesforce.com's CEO Marc Benioff at the annual Dreamforce conference in San Francisco, said that the deal is aimed at acquiring products as well as patent protection for Google's Android ecosystem. "We did it for more than just patents," he said. "We actually believe that the Motorola team has some amazing products coming. ... We're excited to have the product line, to use the Motorola brand, the product architecture, the engineers."
In the discussion, Schmidt expressed his displeasure with the current state of the patent system, and said that he would like to see patents crowd-sourced or at least have them approved in a more "systematic" way. "