Feeds

Neither Nokia nor MS – Motorola makes Linux play

Former behemoth tries third force option

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications

Motorola, which is widely-suspected of membership of the Symbian consortium, this week plumped for a Linux-Java combo for its new handset, and said there would be a lot more where that came from. The A760, which has colour screen, camera, video and MP3 player, Bluetooth and PDA functionality, will ship in Asia later this year, then be rolled out to Europe and the US.

The timing of the rollout will however be key, because although the A760 looks attractive right now, Nokia and Sony-Ericsson already have tough competitors shipping, and undoubtedly tougher ones still in the works.

Motorola's long-term identity crisis (in phones and much else) has been a source of some wry amusement round these parts, but this time the company might just be making a good call. It has always been the sulky and disaffected one in Symbian, with good reason; Symbian is working handsomely for Nokia, Nokia's Series 60 has been doing handsomely for Nokia, poor, wounded Motorola surely could not bear the humiliation of tagging along behind Nokia with the rest of them.

There is a strange absence of compelling Motorola Symbian devices that actually shipped, and one wonders (as we're sure Motorola often does) what the blazes Motorola is doing in Symbian anyway. And although there are still noises of Motorola Symbian devices in development, given the track record it's reasonable to wonder if we'll ever actually see them.

And do we hear sighs of relief from Symbian Central? After all, the Linux move now makes it pretty unlikely that this year's ambush at 3GSM next week will be Motorola-Microsoft.

With the A760 Motorola is using Montavista's Linux for mobile phones, rather than something home-grown, so it will be able to fast-track development of other Linux handsets, and these will have plenty of application support via Java. There's obviously a danger that a Linux-based Motorola line won't have much unique to it, if everybody else piles in, but the plan is surely to seize a lead then keep it. And perhaps also to do a Microsoft and try to licence a Linux-Java platform reference design.

so, at the eleventh hour, Motorola seems to be making a 'third force' play. It's not with Microsoft, not with Nokia, and if it's cute and quick, it has a shot at re-establishing itself as a leader. A long shot, maybe, but what's the alternative? ®

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

More from The Register

next story
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
Bring back error correction, say Danish 'net boffins
We don't need no steenkin' TCP/IP retransmission and the congestion it causes
GoTenna: How does this 'magic' work?
An ideal product if you believe the Earth is flat
Samsung Z Tizen OS mobe is post-phoned – this time for good?
Russian launch for Sammy's non-droid knocked back
Telstra to KILL 2G network by end of 2016
GSM now stands for Grave-Seeking-Mobile network
Seeking LTE expert to insert small cells into BT customers' places
Is this the first step to a FON-a-like 4G network?
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.