Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 23rd Mar 2011 22:48 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless All hail the omnipresent people familiar with the matter.This time, these patrons of the internet have told InformationWeek that Motorola is not satisfied with Google's Android, and that the company is working on its own mobile operating system.
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kragil
Member since:
2006-01-04

All these CEOs shouldn't have read "Differentiate Or Die".
Differentiate on hardware! They should just build the best hardware and keep Android untouched. (I hope) Nobody cares for the crappy addons (crapware) they add to Android. Those just make updates more expensive and take longer (or even make them "impossible")

I really hope some Chinese OEM will build the most easily rooted most generic well-build handsets that can just run pure (mostly FOSS) Android. I don't care if Motorola et al can't compete with those .. I don't own their stock.

I want pure Android with maybe a FOSS-only appstore where apps are written well and vetted for privacy, power consumption etc.

That's what _I_ want.

PS. I would even prefer Meego, but might have to travel to a parrallel universe to get it, so it might not be an option.

Edited 2011-03-23 23:50 UTC

Reply Score: 5

Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

Can I ask for frequent updates for everyone too ?

Reply Score: 3

Priest Member since:
2006-05-12

This. My Samsung phone has amazing hardware but it runs a crippled version of android 2.1. The rooted phones are running 2.2 and 2.3 fine so I don't know what the hold up is.

Maybe they need time to cripple a version enough to deploy it?

Reply Score: 7

Flatland_Spider Member since:
2006-09-01

If you have a Captivate, Samsung finally released 2.2 this past month. The hoops they make you jump through to get the phone recognized by Windows is dumb.

Reply Score: 0

Cymro Member since:
2005-07-07

It's well worth choosing something with Nexus in the name to avoid all this OEM interference.

Edited 2011-03-24 13:14 UTC

Reply Score: 3

vivainio Member since:
2008-12-26


PS. I would even prefer Meego, but might have to travel to a parrallel universe to get it, so it might not be an option.


Well, Nokia will still ship at least one Harmattan device this year, if it's MeeGo enough.

I really hope Motorola would build on the MeeGo effort here, instead of doing a full custom thing.

Reply Score: 2

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

If some foreign factory can crank out the best brick of hardware running a stock Google firmware with regular updates then it may be worth looking at to replace my N900 in a year or two. It's still a half gutted software stack limited to Google's closed door development and lack of rolling updates but it might be the best available.

Meego would be far more interesting though.. even with loosing access to the list of .deb packages I've collected for Maemo. A full distro that can run it's sandboxed apps, native apps or easily cross-compiled packages.. oh baby..

Here's hoping Nokia's N910/Meego can put one last solid link in the N### series. At this point, it's down to that or looking at a feature phone plus whatever tablet can run a proper Debian install.

Reply Score: 3

werterr Member since:
2006-10-03

Yeah, though I'm thinking of the same only for something like WebOS.

As Andriod just creates a fail taste in my mouth ;) must be all those java alike beans...

Reply Score: 1

Question is a new OS?
by oiaohm on Wed 23rd Mar 2011 23:56 UTC
oiaohm
Member since:
2009-05-30

Big question is it just another branch to the Linux group of operating systems.

http://www.yoctoproject.org/ This is making it simpler and simpler for a hardware maker to roll there own new form at very little cost. Ok very little cost 1 million dollars max from kit to final working devices in software development. But compared to past costs this is basically nothing and recoverable at less cost than it costs to license a OS from another company.

Reply Score: 2

v OS X???????????????????
by parrotjoe on Thu 24th Mar 2011 00:13 UTC
RE: OS X???????????????????
by kragil on Thu 24th Mar 2011 00:59 UTC in reply to "OS X???????????????????"
kragil Member since:
2006-01-04

There also isn't news about every Windows/Ubuntu/whatever patch.

Reply Score: 3

RichterKuato
Member since:
2010-05-14

Personally, I hope more OS's keep popping up. I'd hate for every manufacturer to standardize on one OS. Especially, since there are now so many components available to make them.

Just pick a one of many software kernels, a good application framework, and Webkit (for the browser) along with a few ex-Palm employees and in about a year you'll have a nice embedded OS to use on your next Smartphone, Tablet or Set-top box.

Reply Score: 1

werterr Member since:
2006-10-03

Yes, my thoughts exactly. At this point the more the better. There will probably always be a couple of 'big onces' but getting more diversity then locked-in iPhones or java-alike-locked-in android phones can only be a good thing.

Motorola was also my first full Linux phone that I could get in a normal store, the Motorola A780. So although they may not be known as the coolest of the bunch the have done some nice things in the past.

Reply Score: 1

Committing suicide?
by ngnr on Thu 24th Mar 2011 01:30 UTC
ngnr
Member since:
2008-01-16

IMHO Before Android Motorola was nearly dead in the Smartphone business.

Now that they are back on track it would be a very bad move to develop its own OS.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Committing suicide?
by Praxis on Thu 24th Mar 2011 04:28 UTC in reply to "Committing suicide?"
Praxis Member since:
2009-09-17

There is just too much competition in the phone OS market these days for a single manufacturer OS to get any traction at this point.Can you be more enterprise friendly then RIM, more user friendly than iOS, more sleek than WebOS, cheaper than Symbian or Bada, or more geek friendly than Meego. If Moto can't carve out of very clear niche for themselves quickly, they shouldn't even bother.

If they want to differentiate from over Android vendors, promise fast updates and give people control over their phone, if any phone vendor promised that they would have my dollars much faster than any skin they could ever dream up. And if they really want their skin to work well, then just go to the app store and buy or shamelessly copy the most popular home screen apps or launchers replacements.

Reply Score: 6

RE[2]: Committing suicide?
by RichterKuato on Thu 24th Mar 2011 07:48 UTC in reply to "RE: Committing suicide?"
RichterKuato Member since:
2010-05-14

People say that all the time but if you have a killer app(s) it doesn't matter.

As long as they don't rely on third-party support and provide all the functionality needed for the user to get a good experience out of it they'll be fine.

If they built a good product people will buy it. They only question is do they want to. (or is their business model fundamentally opposed to it.)

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Committing suicide?
by Moredhas on Thu 24th Mar 2011 22:28 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Committing suicide?"
Moredhas Member since:
2008-04-10

Motorola has become synonnymous to me with poor build quality, terrbile customer service, and no support after sale. I think they are opposed to making a good product.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Committing suicide?
by elsewhere on Thu 24th Mar 2011 04:47 UTC in reply to "Committing suicide?"
elsewhere Member since:
2005-07-13

IMHO Before Android Motorola was nearly dead in the Smartphone business.

Now that they are back on track it would be a very bad move to develop its own OS.


It would be, but it would also be in keeping with their track record of turning success into failure.

If fragmentation is the issue, I'd postulate that OEMs like Motorola are the reason fragmentation is the issue.

If overly broad ambiguous software patent lawsuits are a liability for Android, they will be a liability for whatever Motorola mocks up. It's worth noting that Motorola has a pretty heft patent portfolio of their own which would actually give them an advantage over the other Android OEMs.

To me, developing a separate OS at this point doesn't make sense. Palm delivered a top notch OS complete that was well hyped and eagerly anticipated and utterly failed to impact their market. Microsoft, despite their global brand recognition and engineering resources, is struggling with WP7 despite the positive reviews and differentiated interface.

Motorola has pulled themselves out of the gutter with Android, but they are still very much an old-school mobile manufacturer that will not dare risk their relationships with the carriers for the sake of their consumers. That will hinder any aspirations they have to outdo the Android experience.

As much as I dislike the walled garden approach of Apple, I think the most remarkable thing they accomplished with the iPhone was retaining control of the user experience and keeping it free from carrier interference. When a new iOS version is released, it is available (generally) to all iPhones everywhere. There's something to be said for that model, because not only does it simplify things for users and developers, but it also reduces buyers remorse, since you (generally) don't need to worry about being denied improvements and upgrades in favor of newer models. None of the other manufacturers have figured this out yet, though I'm keeping my eye on HP.

As much as I like Android, I won't be paying for any handset that doesn't have the Nexus name attached to it. My N1 has fed me a steady stream of updates over the last year, much as my previous iPhones did during their time. My friends and family with Android phones can't say the same thing, and I frankly enjoy taunting them because of that.

Truth be told, the update to gingerbread breathed new life into my N1. The performance improvement, while not ground-breaking, was significant enough to temporarily curb my wanderlust to look at something like the Nexus S. This makes it the longest I've used a mobile as my primary handset in a long time. And this I think is the key. The OEMs generally stop caring about their products six months after they're released, because they're focused on the next models to be released. When you're committed to a two- or three-year contract with your provider, that's just a pisser.

I don't think Motorola gets this. They just want to move handsets. Android moves handsets for them, I suspect they're kidding themselves if they think they've sufficiently strengthened their brand that they can leverage their own OS. They'll need to attract developers, marketing momentum and hype, as well as carrier support. I don't think they have the cajones to pull it off.

But then, I never believed Nokia would move to WP7, so what do I know... ;)

Reply Score: 7

RE[2]: Committing suicide?
by avgalen on Thu 24th Mar 2011 07:32 UTC in reply to "RE: Committing suicide?"
avgalen Member since:
2010-09-23

You said it very well yourself. If you wouldn't have received the free update (that costs the manufacturer money to produce/deploy) you would have punished them by.....buying a new phone (the earns the manufacturer money)

THAT is why they stop supporting hardware quickly.
Of course, if 1 company breaks this pattern and continues to bring updates it will have a competitive advantage, gains a positive reputation and has a Unique Selling Point. Eventually that would force other manufacturers to do the same or lower their price but for several reasons we haven't seen this happen yet

Reply Score: 2

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

"You said it very well yourself. If you wouldn't have received the free update (that costs the manufacturer money to produce/deploy) you would have punished them by.....buying a new phone" ...

... from a different and more consumer friendly company.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Committing suicide?
by r_a_trip on Thu 24th Mar 2011 10:48 UTC in reply to "RE: Committing suicide?"
r_a_trip Member since:
2005-07-06

But then, I never believed Nokia would move to WP7, so what do I know....

The difference here is that Nokia was "bought" by MS to become their poster WP7 handset manufacturer. Nothing is more cushy (short term) than getting revenue from the MS Warchests.

Moto needs to dip into their own wallet to create something new and compelling. Far, far riskier.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Committing suicide?
by glarepate on Fri 25th Mar 2011 18:05 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Committing suicide?"
glarepate Member since:
2006-01-04

Nothing is more cushy (short term) than getting revenue from the MS Warchests.


Except that Nokia is being "paid" by not giving them money for license fees and by contributing their own time and work to the development of the OS. No cash will be exchanging hands, just Nokia's patents, or at least licenses to them. But I think the actual patents will jump owners to become the new swords to attack other OSes with.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Committing suicide?
by ichi on Mon 28th Mar 2011 10:48 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Committing suicide?"
ichi Member since:
2007-03-06

No cash will be exchanging hands, just Nokia's patents, or at least licenses to them.


Weren't there news already about Nokia getting over $1 billion from MS to promote and develop WP7 on Nokia phones? That is, in addition to patent licenses.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Committing suicide?
by vivainio on Thu 24th Mar 2011 07:15 UTC in reply to "Committing suicide?"
vivainio Member since:
2008-12-26

IMHO Before Android Motorola was nearly dead in the Smartphone business.

Now that they are back on track it would be a very bad move to develop its own OS.


Exactly the opposite - when you are rolling smoothly, it's time to develop new things (as you can afford it) and prepare for the future.

Reply Score: 2

improve android
by dacresni on Thu 24th Mar 2011 02:05 UTC
dacresni
Member since:
2009-08-26

perhaps, they could be contributing to source, or to the API library. An ORM for SQLight would be nice. A GUI like Xcode's Data Modeler would be nice. is there a theming engine for Android?

Reply Score: 0

RE: improve android
by _txf_ on Thu 24th Mar 2011 08:53 UTC in reply to "improve android"
_txf_ Member since:
2008-03-17

is there a theming engine for Android?


You can find the Tmobile developed theming engine in CyanogenMod 7.

Reply Score: 2

not credible
by Tractor on Thu 24th Mar 2011 10:35 UTC
Tractor
Member since:
2006-08-18

Building a "good enough" OS is a huge task.
They don't stand even a little chance for this objective.

On the other hand, starting from an Android code base, and making some deep customizations (beyond skin level) is an entirely different game, which allows a great (almost unlimited ?) level of personalization, while still benefiting from Google experience.

I hope for them this is the route they have selected.

Reply Score: 2

RE: not credible - why fork Android?
by jabbotts on Thu 24th Mar 2011 12:33 UTC in reply to "not credible"
jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

Why have them fork Android? The semi-forks are the reason it's such a fragmented mess now. Why not have Motorola fork a full *nix like Debian or contribute development efforts to Meego? The hardware is a fully capable computer, why not give it a fully capable OS instead of another specialized tinker toy software stack.

Reply Score: 2

RE: not credible
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Thu 24th Mar 2011 17:51 UTC in reply to "not credible"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

You mean like motoblur, right? That was deeper than most skins, but caused them a world of hurt. It was crappy from the get go, disrupted the google experience, and made updates to the google experience take longer and work worse.

You don't differentiate to differentiate, you have to differentiate to be better. That's what they were *trying* to do with motoblur, but just failed. If you go too deep, then you break api compatibility. Then you need a new development platform, and all of the aps designed for android stop working. Even if they did, you'd need google's approval to get the google created apps ( marketplace, maps, navigation, gmail, ect) that help create the google experience.

That would have to be pretty awesome to throw away all of the benefits of a more stock Android.

Reply Score: 2

Yes, there is room for several other OSes
by spiderman on Thu 24th Mar 2011 10:50 UTC
spiderman
Member since:
2008-10-23

I believe people don't realize how primitive their current smartphone OS are. All smartphone OS suck, all of them. They will be superseded in less than a half decade. Nobody will talk about Android in 10 years, except the way we talk about the Nokia 3310 today.
So if Motorola wants to shine in the next generation, they are right to start working on the OS instead of waiting for competitors to take the spot.

Reply Score: 4

joekiser Member since:
2005-06-30

Exactly. Heard that Meego is looking for some development partners.

Reply Score: 2

What exactly do we mean by "a new OS"?
by axilmar on Thu 24th Mar 2011 11:47 UTC
axilmar
Member since:
2006-03-20

What exactly do we mean by "a new OS"?

Do we mean a new kernel?

A new user interface running on top of an existing kernel, e.g. Linux?

The cost of developing a new kernel + drivers + APIs + user interface is enormous. More than 1000 man years (100 people working for 10 years).

I really don't see their logic. If they want to compete, just grab a stock kernel suitable for phones and concentrate on the userland applications.

Reply Score: 2

rom508 Member since:
2007-04-20

OS complexity and development times are subjective. If you are only trying to support one platform with limited number of hardware interfaces, then writing a small set of new drivers is not such a huge task.

The problem with free software is you can't differentiate yourself from countless other copy-cats. And if you put a significant amount of development into free software, others will eat your lunch for free.

Sometimes the best way to evolve software is to develop something totally new from scratch, plus you have complete control over your creation.

Reply Score: 2

axilmar Member since:
2006-03-20

Motorola can differentiate themselves on the userland.

Reply Score: 1

jabbotts
Member since:
2007-09-06

So, would this mean Motorola manages it as a rolling distro with regular updates or maybe prompt and regular firmware updates for existing hardware instead of using updates as a way to force future hardware sales?

A full distro not a half baked, half gutted software stack like Android or rose coloured prison sell like Ios.

A rolling distro with single central update repository across all XYZ os based devices.

Close liniage to Debian would be a bonus for easy of corss-compiling existing packages.

Root and shell access as easy opt-in settings not device/version dependent acrobatic acts of having to break into one's own purchased property.

Open to third party developers..

ok.. so I'm mostly listing what Maemo should have evolved into before Nokia decided that sticking it's face in a blender was more fun. After Motorola designing malware into there Android products, any OS they develop inhouse remains suspect.

Reply Score: 3

Good for Moto
by AnythingButVista on Thu 24th Mar 2011 14:49 UTC
AnythingButVista
Member since:
2008-08-27

This is good. Motorola should develop its own OS so they can do whatever the heck they want with their devices, instead of disrespecting open source users by locking down what is supposed to be an open OS (Android).

Reply Score: 2

Why not Meego?
by shmerl on Thu 24th Mar 2011 16:55 UTC
shmerl
Member since:
2010-06-08

Sounds interesting (making new OSes should be fun for everyone if they are good and open), but why can't Motorola join Meego effort?

Reply Score: 1

just make it boot quickly
by unclefester on Thu 24th Mar 2011 22:32 UTC
unclefester
Member since:
2007-01-13

Phones should be capable of making calls within five seconds not after two minutes. Imagine a life threating situation and having to wait two minutes to make an emergency call.

Reply Score: 2

RE: just make it boot quickly
by Johann Chua on Fri 25th Mar 2011 05:21 UTC in reply to "just make it boot quickly"
Johann Chua Member since:
2005-07-22

Don't most people just put their phones on lock/stand-by rather than turning them off?

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: just make it boot quickly
by unclefester on Fri 25th Mar 2011 07:16 UTC in reply to "RE: just make it boot quickly"
unclefester Member since:
2007-01-13

Many people, like me, turn their phones off so they aren't distracted by unwanted calls. Others only use their phones in an emergency. My mobile phone is really just a portable answering machine that sits on my desk and gets checked once a day.

Reply Score: 2

One more target
by TusharG on Fri 25th Mar 2011 07:33 UTC
TusharG
Member since:
2005-07-06

This is going to increase work for MS, Apple and Oracle to target and sue one more company with various patents. Also this is going to increase more headache of MS for their failing WP7 and last I hope Motorola wont try to completely reinvent the wheel but can build on top of Meego or Bada or WebOS if these are open source.

Reply Score: 2

OSnews = FUD ?
by Hans Otten on Fri 25th Mar 2011 08:18 UTC
Hans Otten
Member since:
2009-12-24

OSnews helping spreading rumors and FUD, where is the real news lately?

Reply Score: 1