Motorola is apparently sticking to its Android guns for the foreseeable future. Not in its future? Microsoft's Windows Phone 7.
Christy Wyatt, corporate vice president of software and services for Motorola, laid it out quite plainly for the press at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week. "I don't envision us using Microsoft," she said. "I would never say never but it's not something we're entertaining now. We're the only vendor who is 100% Android."
Why is it taking a pass on Windows Phone 7? Because it doesn't think the platform would allow for Motorola to differentiate itself enough. "We would like an opportunity to create unique value and we don't feel we could with a closed platform," said Wyatt.
As with other WP7 hardware makers, Motorola wouldn't have much (if any) wiggle room to customize WP7 as it has with Android. It would have to create smartphones that stand out only in terms of the form factor and hardware. That's not enough, as far as Motorola is concerned.
Motorola was also leery about WP7 from the start, and didn't have faith in Microsoft's ability to deliver the platform in a timely manner. "There were a bunch of things that we believed about Microsoft that ended up not being true, mostly about what functionality it would have in what period of time."
Windows Phone 7 launched in the third quarter of 2010, Motorola went all-in with Android during the third quarter of 2009 when the original Droid hit the market.
Motorola Mobility CEO echoed Wyatt's comments. "I am as focused on Android as I ever have been. As a result of Nokia adopting Microsoft, it's possible that some of the other players concentrate on Android." Interestingly, Jha hopes that Android isn't the only player in town. "I hope there will be at least three or four [competing smartphone platforms]. I love Android, but I hope as hell there won't be just one."
Android is solely responsible for bringing Motorola back from the brink of death. Its Droid, Droid X, and other Android smartphones have sold in huge numbers, and given it the turn-around it so desperately needed after years of poor performance.
I can't say I fully agree with Motorola's position, but I can certainly understand it.
Meanwhile, Nokia's decision to adopt Windows Phone 7 has made big waves in the industry this week. Most of the chatter around Mobile World Congress in Barcelona has been about the decision. Nokia has decided to drop its own Symbian and MeeGo platforms for smartphones, and will instead focus solely on WP7.
It is going to be close to a year before Nokia can get a WP7 smartphone into the market, which will put it just that much further behind the competition. Motorola and other Android handset makers will churn out smartphones by the dozens before 2011 closes out.