Microsoft attempted to buy Motorola’s patents before Google

According to Om’s source Microsoft was in talks with Motorola to acquire its patent portfolio in an attempt to totally destroy Android. This could definitely be true given Motorola’s CEO speech last week when he publicly claimed that he was closely evaluating if Windows Phone was a viable ecosystem and that he was looking at a Nokia like partnership with Microsoft.

Today’s Google announcement really seems like a desperate move from the Mountain View search giant especially when you consider the price, $12.5B and the record breaking $2.5B break-up fee that Google would have to pay Motorola if the deal falls through. An other un-answered question is why didn’t Google simply license/buy Motorola’s patents instead of the whole company ?

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Google Acquires Motorola Mobility: Android won’t go down without a fight

Big news today folks: Google has just announced that they are going to acquire Motorola Mobility for $12.5B in cash (Google’s biggest acquisition to date). Sounds tasty right? Especially after Motorola’s CEO blatantly mislead everybody last week about his company’s plans to look into the Windows Phone platform as a viable ecosystem (or was he trying to get more $ out of the acquisition negotiation?). So what is this all about? Patents, patents and patents. As we have seen not long ago Google is desperately fighting a war that it probably can’t win against Microsoft, Apple et al because of its lack of patents so acquiring Moto is I guess for them, only one little solution to some of their Android problems. But people shouldn’t really over-estimate this move though. Motorola is already being sued by Microsoft and several other companies so this shows that even the handset’s manufacturer patent portfolio isn’t bullet proof. Interesting times ahead… What well other Android OEM’s think about this move? “2 turkeys don’t make an Eagle”.. right? Announcement after the break:

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Motorola still considering building Windows Phone handsets in the future

Even tough both companies are currently fighting in court, Motorola is still open to use Windows Phone if the market sees a need for it according to it’s CEO:

“I think we’re completely open to the notion of Windows as a platform,” Jha said in an appearance at the Oppenheimer Technology & Communications Conference. “Clearly, all of our focus today is on Android.”

Motorola will evaluate the Windows Phone platform to see if it finally turns into a valuable ecosystem later this year once the Mango update is launched and Nokia starts shipping its first Windows Phone handsets the SeaRay. This is not the first time that Moto’s CEO Sanjay Jha states that his company is still looking closely at Microsoft’s fresh mobile OS.

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Verizon HTC Trophy and Xperia Play available for order

The Verizon HTC trophy is now finally available for order on the company’s website alongside the Xperia Play. The HTC Trophy costs $149.99 with a 2 year contract and a free Xbox 360 game (Halo Reach, Kinect Sports or Lode Runner) while the Xperia Play is priced at $199.99 with a 2 year contract and is pre-loadeded with 6 PlayStation certified games: Bruce Lee Dragon Warrior, The Sims 3, Star Battalion, Asphalt 6: Adrenaline, Madden NFL 11 from EA, and Crash Bandicoot (hands on video here).

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Motorola Xoom Super Bowl TV commercial

Here’s pretty nice Motorola Xoom commercial that aired during last nights Super Bowl and was teased last week on YouTube. You catch a glimpse of the device in simulated action (I say simulated because what you see on the fake device’s screen was composited in post) but I would highly suggest to check out the hour long Android 3.0 presentation video to really see the Xoom in all it’s glory. Video after the break:

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Motorola Xoom launching on February 24th and HTC Thunderbolt on Feb 14th

According to Best Buy’s Facebook page the hotly anticipated Android 3.0 powered Motorola Xoom tablet is going to launch on February 24th just ten days after the launch of Verzion’s HTC Thunderbolt on February 14th (just one day after AT&T’s HTC Inspire 4G). Hate it or love it but 2011 is shaping up to be Android’s year. With Microsoft’s ineptitude to update Windows Phone 7 in a timely fashion (and communicate a clear roadmap) Google is freely steamrolling on the competition.

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Motorola Xoom Superbowl TV ad takes aim at Apple’s system

Motorola is bringing the heat to the tablet market this year. The Motorola Xoom TV ad named “Goodbye 1984″ is a direct attack towards Apple’s closed system. The same can somewhat be said about Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 / Zune / Xbox 360 but given their irrelevant marketshare they are probably not worth mentioning I guess (MS also doesn’t have any Tablet / Slate answer until Windows 8). Anyway, check out the teaser after the break:

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Motorola Xoom launching on February 17th

According to internal documents originating from Best Buy the much anticipated Motorola Xoom tablet, which is going to be the first Android 3.0 Honeycomb powered devices, is launching on February 17th. The first SKU is apparently packing 32GB of internal memory but there’s still no official price mentioned but it would definitely be disappointing if yesterday’s rumored $800 price turns out to be true. A full blown Slate PC like the new Asus Eee EP121 is only $300 more and has some serious power under the hood (but not so awesome battery life..). The Xoom will obviously be subsidized by carriers just like the Galaxy Tab thought so it may be best to wait a little bit to see how things settle down.

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Motorola Xoom to cost $800 and come without MotoBlur UI

Contrary to what was claimed earlier yesterday in rumor, the Motorola Xoom won’t be slapped with the useless MotoBlur UI and will thankfully be running the stock Android 3.0 / Honeycomb OS. Here’s Motorola’s official statement:

To clarify, Motorola Xoom is a Google Experience Device and the first tablet to incorporate Android 3.0 Honeycomb. As such, Motorola Mobility has worked closely with Google to develop and optimize the Honeycomb OS on Xoom, and has no plans to customize the software with MotoBlur.

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Android 3.0 Honeycomb doesn’t have a minimum Processor requirement

Another rumor bites the dust…Android 3.0 aka Honeycomb may be aimed at Tablets first but it definitely doesn’t have any minimum processor requirements according to Google. So there’s a change that the Galaxy Tab will probably be able to get an upgrade once the OS finally hits the streets in a couple of weeks / months. The Dual-Core Cortex A9 minimum specs rumor definitely sounded ridiculous given that Qualcomm isn’t going to ship it’s first A9 SoC before 2012.

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Motorola Xoom hardware specifications

Motoroa is about to officially unveil the Motorola Xoom tablet power byt nVidia’s Tegra 2 Soc and running Honeycomb. We have already seen Android 3.0 Honeycomb’s UI in action a few minutes ago and the Xoom handled by Any Rubin last monthbut what people want to know now is when is this thing going to be available. The Tegra 2 powered Motorola Atrix 4G and the yet unknown Motorola Droid Bionic also going to be outed tonight. Stay tuned for more…

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Honeycomb, Android 3.0 to require a Dual-Core Cortex-A9 CPU?

The latest rumors about Android 3.0 aka Honeycomb are now claiming that the upcoming OS will only be aimed at high-end Tablets and required a Dual-Core Cortex A9 CPU to work. According to Bobby Cha, managing director of Korean consumer electronics firm Enspert, it will also have a minimum screen resolution requirement of 1024×720 and “Honeycomb does not require 10-inch [screens] … it’s going to go as small as 7 inch.” This sound like BS to me because if this is indeed the case then Google will basically have 2 Android versions on the market: One for high-end tablets (because the Galaxy Tab only has a Single core Cortex-A8) and one for smartphones (what’s next after Android 2.3 ?). Now let’s image that Honeycomb is also smartphone compatible but has that Dual-Core Cortex A9 requirement: it will not work on any of the upcoming Dual-Core Quacomm based handsets scheduled to be released in the next 14 months (Qualcomm’s current Dual-Core SoCs are all Cortex A8 based and their first A9 architecture isn’t scheduled to start shipping in devices before 2012). I guess that we will know the whole story soon enough with the imminent launch announcement of the Motorola Tablets this week at CES.

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Motorola Honeycomb Android 3.0 tablet teased in video. Launching at CES

Let the Marketing war begin! Motorola has just released a short teaser video for the upcoming Tegra 2 powered  Android 3.0 / Honeycomb tablet that we saw in live action a couple of days ago. There’s nothing  new to see in there, just a confirmation that tablet are now the big thing to talk about if a company wants to generate buzz. Microsoft is surely lacking in this department thought…Video after the break:

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Watch Android 3.0 Honeycomb and Google Maps 5 on the Tegra 2 powered Motorola Tablet

Late last night Google’s Andy Rubin demoed a yet un-announced Tegra 2 powered Motorola tablet that was running Android 3.0 aka Honeycomb and the latest version of Google Maps 5 (which will be released on Android powered smartphone in the coming days). You will first see a demo of Google Maps 5 which now uses vectorized maps to allow integration better integration with 3D buildings and save some data bandwidth (note that contrary to what he says this was easily be done with non vectorized maps and standard textured maps, but Vectors are definitely a more elegant solution). Unfortunately the performance doesn’t seem to be really good (it’s just not smooth at all) but this could be related to the fact that the hardware and software is still unfinished.

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Motorola still open to using Windows Phone 7

The company that just got sued by Microsoft is still open to use Windows Phone 7 ? Surprised ? Business is business and Motorola knows this. Moto’s CEO Sanjay Jha basically repeated exactly the same thing he told the WSJ back in February during MWC. Motorola is apparently trying to decide on what is going the next step:

“I am open to finding ways to work with Microsoft,” Mr. Jha said. “But it has to be a compelling offering.”

Microsoft will unveil the new operating system, called Windows Phone 7, next week. Mr. Jha said Motorola engineers haven’t seen the system. But, he said, “From what I have heard, it is a rational offering.”
[...]
The Motorola co-CEO said he isn’t “overly unsettled” by the Microsoft lawsuits, and that “some of these lawsuits are part of business.”

“I would much rather have done without that lawsuit, but it doesn’t always work out that way,” Mr. Jha said. “We will consider all of our options.”

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Microsoft sues Motorola: Android is the target

Microsoft has just filed a patent Infringement Action Against Motorola today. My guess is that the Redmond company was unable to reach an “Android” licensing deal similar to the one HTC signed a few months ago. Microsoft had already stated that they were working on similar licensing deals with other OEMs but it looks like both companies didn’t agree this time around.  Android is definitely the target here and with the imminent release of Windows Phone 7 things are starting to get heated. Full Press Release and Suit after the break:

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First Motorola Droid 2 review

The first Motorola Droid 2 review has arrived courtesy of Engadget and it looks like Motorola’s latest and greatest didn’t really impress. The review notes that the Droid 2 doesn’t bring anything new to the table given its similar design to the original (with a slightly improved keyboard) and the fact that the stock Android 2.2 UI has been replaced with Moto’s soon to be defunct MOTOBLUR. It will definitely be wiser to get a Droid X instead justfor the improved camera (and 720P video recording) and the bigger screen. Owners of the original Droid have no reason at all to run to their local Verizon store and grab the Droid 2 unless they think that synthetic benchmark results are super important…

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Motorola Droid 2 Walkthrough videos

Motorola and Verizon have uploaded a couple of walkthrough videos dedicated to the recently launched Motorola Droid 2 handset. If you have already seen the original Droid in action of the Droid X things aren’t really that much different. the Droid 2 is definitely snappier than the original as seen in the video below (thanks to the 1ghz CPU):

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Motorola Droid 2 announced: Android 2.2 and R2-D2 edition

After several months on continuous leaks the Motorola Droid 2 has now finally been announced a should be available for pre-sale tomorrow for$199,99 on a 2-year contract. Now when it comes to the hardware there’s nothing really surprising that we didn’t already know: It will run Android 2.2, feature a 3.7″ multitouch display, 5 megapixel camera, DLNA , 8GB of on-board Flash memory and will be sold with a 8GB microSD card. The R2-D2 edition that was hinted at a couple of weeks ago is also officially but will only go on sale in September for a undisclosed price. Check the full press release after the break:
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