Motorola now "completely open" to Windows Phone but with a catch

Motorola has had quite the ride, first being on board with Microsoft and Windows Phone then shunning it for an Android-only approach to now, evidently reconsidering using the OS. In between those two position shifts, Moto's stock has steadily declined over the last year (see our salty editorial, or their stocks above), demonstrating that going it alone with Android isn't enough anymore. Fact is, everyone has an Android line in the mobile biz which is why Nokia went with Windows Phone--easier to differentiate yourself as a brand.

Now we're at a point where Moto CEO Sanjay Jha, speaking at the Oppenheimer Technology & Communications Conference, said "I think we're completely open to the notion of Windows as a platform" which is a big change from "I don’t envision us using Microsoft. I would never say never but it’s not something we’re entertaining now." just six months ago.

Still, despite being sued by Microsoft, Jha is still angling for a sweet deal like Nokia has received, gaining more freedom and sway over the hardware and software. To that last notion, we chuckle only because Motorola, you're no Nokia. But hey, we like the change of heart, Jha. Maybe we'll be seeing something in late 2012 from you folks after all. Or not, whichever.

Source: FierceWireless; via ZDNet


Reader comments

Motorola now "completely open" to Windows Phone but with a catch


From the referenced WPCentral article:"Wyatt added that going with Microsoft would create a situation where the only value Motorola could offer was 'commoditized hardware'....All of which raises the question; doesn't it make sense to have the software company (Microsoft) focus on the OS and the hardware company (Motorola) focus on...say...the hardware?"Exactly. Look at the PC space. Lots of companies make money by not selling commoditized hardware. Even the most die hard anything-but-Apple fanatics usually concede that Apple has fantastic hardware.Motorola's add value by throwing a cheap skin on a cheap operating system on cheap hardware strategy may have worked when Verizon needed an answer to the iPhone. Back then there were few Android partners and if you wanted a smartphone on Verizon then Droid was what you wanted. Now? Not so much.

Hey, I am surprised by the backlash against this so far. I am not against this at all. Moto makes great hardware. And while their stocks have taken hits lately (really now, what company's stock hasn't?), we forget how close to the brink of death Motorola was a few years ago. They have made great strides. But, they seem to have hit a wall with Android as their only OS. They sell well on Verizon, and the Photon looks to be a hit on Sprint. But the Atrix was only so-so on AT&T, and even the Droid X2 on Big Red didn't hold up as well as dual-core option should have. So a W7 line of devices would make sense. Of course they would ask for control over it- the worst that could happen is Microsoft says no. One of the biggest holes in W7 options right now is choices on CDMA carriers. As in: THERE ISN'T ANY. That happens to be where Motorola is strongest. This could be a good option to get W7 supported on 2 of the top 3 U.S. carriers. How is that a bad thing?????

I'm sorry but Motorola only makes "good" hardware when their current line of devices start tanking but it only starts the cycle all over again.For years they have made a "hot" new design and then driven them into the ground by not innovating for another 5 years or so. Remember the StarTac? Razr? And all of the sad halfhearted upgrades they received to make a new model? (And they have done this with their Droid line too.)That doesn't even touch on MotoBlur and other tweaks to Android OS.Once you catch onto their product cycle and see that their current phones are tanking we should all be thanking Motorola for not being a WP7 manufacturer in the first place.

It seems to me that "hubs" could be an "experience center" that hardware developers like Motorola could jump on and customize. I'm not saying they should be able to change the existing core hubs, but they should be encouraged to create their own "value add" hubs highlighting their own software (even if it's silly carrier branded stuff like T-Mobile Netflix). That way the core start screen with live tiles is still a consistent experience, but you have places to go that may be able to enhance your experience. Give Motorola, etc a relatively wide girth on creating hubs, and allow the Windows Phone 7 ecosystem to grow and flourish.

Yeah whatever Sanjay, you might be allowed to make some WP devices, but you're NOT getting NOKIA "special agent" status. Please...

"Fact is, everyone has an Android line in the mobile biz..."Except Apple, RIM, HP and Nokia. It should read "everyone but the proprietary manufacturers". Or "nearly everyone has an Android line".

Motorola I think over bet the odds. While the momentum was good motorola misjudged its true reach. While samsung, htc, lg are working hard to become global brands. Motorola after razor does not have the same 'reach'. So why put yourself in a position where you have diminished footprint and diversification. By diversifying there is a better chance to satisfy more of an audience. Here we can also the advertising power of verizon who after acquiring iPhone pretty much stopped pushing droid. It's not just motorola who is affected every droid manufacturer is affected. All the high numbers of droids being sold include cheap, free, and so on mobile units. Motorola has to diversify it's portfolio because even as a global brand it can not hope to satisfy everyones need with just one os. Nokia has a global reach by choosing to specialize on WP os it gives it a much workable ecosystem and the best one two punch (hardware software) to counter apple iPhone the best one two punch in the game right now. While at the same time not becoming just 'another' android vendor.

Moto made some good hardware in the past...I will never forget my StarTac or my V710 (still have it sitting around here).It would be nice to see some more options for Windows Phone 7 but, to customize an already almost perfect OS, Just say no.Yea, the tiles are nothing special, they can't be customized besides a few colors but, they give me data when I need it with out having to jump into an app...

My StarTacs were the best phones I ever had. Although I understand the radio output was frying my brain whenever I used it! Just a phone, but a great one. Tiny for it's time. How far Motorola has fallen since then (and the Razor). This busniness moves fast, and it only takes a delay or mistake to move you from front to back of the pack.

Moto is like that chick that only sticks around when times are good. Thumbs down, and shame on you.. lol

Good luck with that, now that Google is buying Motorola Mobility. I doubt Google will be so "open to Windows Phone". Motorola will continue to be Android-only.