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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