Motorola Forgives and Forgets: Explores Possible WinPho7 Partnership with Microsoft

by Matt Klassen on October 7, 2010

Earlier this week it was reported that Microsoft was suing popular smartphone manufacturer Motorola over patent infringements from its catalogue of Android-based smartphones. Reminiscent of the ongoing litigation Apple levelled against another Android smartphone maker HTC a few months back, its abundantly clear that these legal attacks are really geared towards Google, which may make it less surprising to hear that Motorola doesn’t seem to hold a grudge.

In a recent interview with the Wall Street Journal, Motorola co-CEO Sanjay Jha noted that his company would still be very interested in working with Microsoft to develop a Windows Phone 7 line of smartphones, that is, if Motorola finds the OS compelling enough to invest R&D dollars into.

So while Microsoft it busy trying to stem the growing tide of Android phones by suing Google’s Android partners, Motorola is interested in one thing and one thing only…creating products that consumers will want to buy; and I, for one, think Motorola has the right idea.

Its clear to me that Motorola has the right mindset to succeed in the smartphone market. Not only does the American based telecom company produce several of the world’s most powerful and popular Android devices, the company works hard to keep an open mind about alternative operating systems and profitable partnerships, going so far as to continue considering Microsoft’s forthcoming Windows Phone 7.

But perhaps Motorola has realized what the rest of the tech world has known for a long time, litigation like this is not about Motorola, its about Android, and that for Microsoft, moves like this are all about business (i.e. not to be taken personally)…although I suppose it doesn’t help pay Motorola’s cadre of legal experts that will be employed on the case. On a slightly different note, however, the latest news is that Motorola itself is trying its hand at patent litigation by suing Apple for 18 violations, just going to show you that Motorola can give just as well as it gets.  

Any prospective partnership with Microsoft, however, will most likely need to pay immediate dividends for Motorola to remain interested. Back in 2008 Motorola had dedicated itself to both Google’s Android OS and whatever Microsoft would be delivering, the only problem was, Microsoft didn’t deliver. At that time Motorola switched exclusively to Android, a move that in hindsight saved its floundering mobile division

So will this next attempt at utilizing a Microsoft built mobile OS go any better? According to Jha, early reports seem to indicate that Windows Phone 7 is, in his words, a “rational offering,” hopefully meaning that unlike most products produced by Microsoft it’ll be technology that normal clear thinking people will enjoy using.

Beyond that, however, things do continue to look up for Motorola, as in addition to exploring possible partnerships with Microsoft it has unveiled its latest line of Android based smartphones, including one that really caught my eye, the business oriented Droid Pro. If Windows Phone 7 does prove to be a success, Motorola may have the inside track on creating phones (other than the iPhone) that people really seem to want.

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