After laying off 77 engineers and ending Windows Mobile development at their Plantation facility, speculation abounded that Motorola was planning a wholesale switch from the Microsoft smartphone platform to Google’s open-source Android OS. However the company is insisting that such a move is not on the cards, with Motorola spokesperson Maya Komadina claiming that development of the platform continues at the company’s other facilities.
“It is important to note that Motorola’s strategy for the Mobile Devices business has not changed — we continue to focus on Windows Mobile as one of our software platforms, and there are teams working on Windows Mobile development at other facilities” Maya Komadina, spokesperson, Motorola
It’s unclear exactly how many staff Motorola currently has working on Windows Mobile, and how many it has assigned to the newer Android platform. Motorola revealed its plans to adopt Android in Q4 last year, a move welcomed by analysts who have suggested that the company has “historically spread itself too thin by supporting practically every OS out there” (Jack Gold, analyst at J. Gold Associates).
Motorola is, Gold believes, unlikely to cease Windows Mobile development because of its use in industrial devices, such as are made by Motorola division Symbol. Meanwhile Android will give the company the open-source flexibility to create a new range of distinctive handsets.