Motorola Backs Away From LiMo - InformationWeek

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10/12/2009
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Motorola Backs Away From LiMo

The handset maker has dropped its board seat on the LiMo Foundation board and will focus on Google Android.

Motorola is scaling back its participation in the LiMo Foundation in order to focus on the Linux-based Android operating system.

Motorola was a co-founder of the LiMo Foundation in 2007 along with NEC, NTT DoCoMo, Panasonic, Samsung, and Vodafone. The foundation was formed with the goal of creating a Linux-based middleware layer that could be quickly used for handset designs. Motorola said it has become an associate member of the foundation, a designation under which it remains eligible to contribute to the organization.

The fourth-largest handset maker will instead focus its efforts on developing handsets and software for the Google-backed Android. Motorola is betting that strong support of the open-source OS will help it turn around its struggling handset division, which has lost billions over the last few years.

"At this time [it is felt] that the Android platform gives a richer, more consistent foundation with strong support for the ecosystem and developer community," Motorola said in a statement.

The company is tailoring the Google-backed OS and recently unveiled the Android-powered Cliq handset. The smartphone has a service called MotoBlur embedded within the OS, which aggregates a user's contacts, photos, calendars, and other information from various sources like Twitter, Outlook, and Gmail.

With companies such as LG Electronics, HTC, Asus-Garmin, and Sony Ericsson expected to soon have Android handsets, Motorola said this type of customization will help it stand out from the crowd.

The Linux-based Android may be a significant threat to the LiMo Foundation, as Samsung also recently introduced its first smartphone with the Google-backed OS. The foundation retains strong support though, as mobile operators like Verizon Wireless, Telefonica, and NTT DoCoMo have committed to releasing handsets with the foundation's software.


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