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Analysis of Google's Motorola Acquisition

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the of-all-the-recent-acquisitions-it-was-definitely-one-of-them dept.

Android 311

bonch writes "Pundits have been analyzing Google's Motorola acquisition since its announcement. Dan Lyons, formerly known as Fake Steve Jobs, says Google never cared for the Nortel patents, and that they drove the bidding price up intentionally while negotiating to buy Motorola. This idea is questioned by MG Siegler, who believes buying Motorola for $12.5 billion — almost two years' worth of Google's annual profits — is an act of desperation. John Gruber notes that Motorola was threatening to wage a patent war against other Android partners during the time they would have been negotiating with Google, and that Motorola likely forced them into an expensive buyout rather than a patent license agreement. Google may have also been motivated by the fact that Microsoft was reportedly pursuing a Motorola buyout." S&P researchers apparently weren't a fan of the deal.

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He is right (5, Interesting)

CaptainInnocent (2439004) | more than 3 years ago | (#37113822)

Both Apple and Microsoft are already in patent lawsuits with Motorola. Google has tried to get some smartphone patent portfolio for themselves too, but they just burned $12.5 billion on patents that
1) don't help them at all against Apple and Microsoft
2) alienates other Android manufacturers

But there isn't much Google can do. People act weirdly and make mistakes when they're surrounded and desperate. Google made their mistake here.

Re:He is right (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37113898)

...Right. A corporation is not a person, first of all. Second, even if it -were- a person, I would think that it would consider a $12.5 BILLION dollar purchase a little more carefully than someone who is having a panic attack.

O RLY? (2)

Daetrin (576516) | more than 3 years ago | (#37113932)

Motorola has enough patents that the lawsuits are going both ways and the outcomes are far from certain. Compare that to other companies like Samsung and HTC that are currently getting trounced in court or have already rolled over.

Furthermore Motorola was threatening to open up the exact same kind of lawsuits against other Android manufacturers, so at least Google has nipped that one in the bud. Making a big point of that should help a lot with the alienation you think the other Android manufacturers should be feeling for some reason.

This may not be the best defense possible (maybe they should have spent a few more billion in the Nortel bidding, i dunno) but it's certainly better than sitting on their asses.

Re:He is right (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37113966)

Can't understand you. Please take Steve Jobs' dick out of your mouth. Thank you.

I don't think they are surrounded (2)

novar21 (1694492) | more than 3 years ago | (#37113988)

or desperate. I think Google decided it's time to do battle. It's easy to sue the little guys. But when your the size of Google, it becomes MUCH riskier. They can drag Apple, Oracle and M$ on for years in court. This is not what those three want. A lot of FUD is being displayed, trying to show this as desperation. But I think Google got tired of them picking on the manufacturers of the Droid phones. If Google did nothing, the three would drive away all Droid phones. That in turn would cut into Googles revenue. So they must take action. They already work with the patent office for search in patents and prior art. They have a lot of experience in that now. And they may wield some influence there and in politics. Dont underestimate their cunning. If they assemble a good legal team, it should turn out to be quite a battle. Especially if HTC and others band together with Google. Just waiting for the bell, so I can start making the pop corn.

Re:I don't think they are surrounded (4, Informative)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 3 years ago | (#37114026)

I don't think they paid that much $$ to become a Droid maker-- there are many less expensive ones to deal with. But it does put a red flag in front of Microsoft.

It's a game of chicken, where Google says, ok, lay off my pals that are making Android phones, or you have to sue, us, too-- and you don't REALLY want to do that, do you?

Moto can have flat revenues for the next decade but at a half-million new Androids registered a DAY, Google won't care. Apple knows that once you get users, they hate to leave and have to learn something new, get new contracts, and so forth. So unlike the junk they sold before, telcos get much more customer "glue" with affinity-based purchases based on operating system preference, and they know Apple and they know Android, and to a lesser extent, RIM and WebOS/Palm/HP. Windows? I guess we find out next month.

Re:I don't think they are surrounded (2)

fidget42 (538823) | more than 3 years ago | (#37114236)

If you were HTC or Samsung, how comfortable would you be in using the OS of your competitor? Would you REALLY believe Google when they said that they won't give Moto preferential treatment?

Re:I don't think they are surrounded (2)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 3 years ago | (#37114320)

I'm the wrong person to ask.

Yet HTC isn't scared of Samsung, who isn't scared of LG, who isn't scared of Moto, who isn't scared of the rest of them. They're hardware guys, not software guys. When hardware guys become software guys, you get Nokia, who surrendered. Each of these, except Moto, will take on Windows Mobile when it comes out in its next incarnation. So will Sony, Sharp, or whomever is left in smartphone manufacturing. They'll sell based on small incremental market advantages, just as they do now. Seems silly, but it works for them.

Re:I don't think they are surrounded (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 3 years ago | (#37114406)

Microsoft has Nokia in its pocket, Apple has .. itself, what OS do you suppose Samsung et al are going to use? HP's WebOS?

The problem is, the SMART phone OS market is limited. I wouldn't trust MS, and their current WP7 is barely alive and only by the might of Microsoft to keep it there.

The choice is get into bed with MS, get into bed with Google. Google has a much better track record.

Re:I don't think they are surrounded (2)

WelshRarebit (1595637) | more than 3 years ago | (#37114432)

Google could *easily* address these types of concerns by turning Android into a true open source platform. Open up the development and release process to the community, rather than simply throwing months-old code drops over the wall.

Re:I don't think they are surrounded (1)

That Guy From Mrktng (2274712) | more than 3 years ago | (#37114966)

Yeah I'd like that too, I can't code sh** and probably can't benefit from it but I know it's a good thing to do. But average consumers really care? Have you ever seen someone shopping a phone or a laptop asking the guy if it's using open source and where can he download the tarz?

The requirements of a subset of consumers are not relevant, which it's wrong, it's a shame but it's how it is. Companies barely listen to the vast mass of Joe consumers to dedicate resources to a low share that 100% of the time will keep complaining about another "irrelevant" thing that it's missing.

Some companies listen and do like Samsung and hire the developers of a popular mod, some companies ask their customers to join forums and help w/ market research but cocky adblockers probably have not heard of it.

How can the tech wise subset of consumers make their RIGHTFUL demands matter? I don't know, anybody can make a viral video, marketing suits shit bricks when the company goes viral w/out their approval, just a tip.

Re:I don't think they are surrounded (1)

djlowe (41723) | more than 3 years ago | (#37114878)

If you were HTC or Samsung, how comfortable would you be in using the OS of your competitor? Would you REALLY believe Google when they said that they won't give Moto preferential treatment?

And, what's their alternative? They can't license iOS from Apple, for obvious reasons. They can license Windows Mobile from Microsoft.. or they can roll their own, new, OS, with all of the costs that that entails

Like it or not, Android is, at this point, their best choice, regardless, against Apple, at least, and I think that they will continue to use it, and trust that THEY are not Google's targets at this time.

Apple is, first, I think. Microsoft is second, but as they have their own issues, and compete with Google in the search space, too, Google's purchase is enough to send them into a "tizzy", as Google now has something that they've never had before: Legacy.

You have to remember that Motorola has been around for a VERY long time, far longer than Google, Microsoft or Apple. Google's purchase of Motorola Mobility brings with it not only manufacturing and design capabilities, but patents in the mobile space that Google needs... AND, a claim to legitimacy/legacy in the mobile space that surpasses both Apple and Microsoft.

Now, if Google *really* wanted freak out both Apple and Microsoft in other areas, and move from just advertising-driven revenue to the business world? My advice would be for them to buy Attachmate, or at least, Novell from them.

Crazy? Yeah, crazy like a fox: Despite Novell's fall from popularity, they STILL have one thing that neither Apple or Microsoft have: Networking technology in the form of eDirectory, which is still superior to AD generally (AD still isn't fully integrated at the file system level with NTFS, for example, while eDirectory has been so for over a decade with NSS, which has been ported to Linux natively), and multi-platform to boot.

The "end game", in the business arena at least, is full integration at the directory services level of *everything*. Nobody has achieved that yet, though the progression is obvious: Single PC to PC's connected to servers, to directory services...

Seamless top to bottom, fully secure, encrypted, verifiable integration and management of any device on the network, coupled with secure access to anything via identity management, also fully secured and directory integrated to ease management, which would be in real-time, and MUCH faster than AD can manage.

And sure, there's "bits and pieces" of this, in various forms, from various companies: Blackberry still does a superior job with their mobile devices in this regard... but Novell made eDirectory portable and cross-platform years ago, and it is the only directory service at this point that can do this, and extend such into the mobile space, cross-platform: Neither Apple nor Microsoft will want to do this: They're too busy trying to keep control over their platforms, and neither wish to acknowledge any others by so doing.

Google, on the other hand? While, sure, they want Android to succeed, they aren't necessarily bound to it at that level, as it is already succeeding at the consumer level, and that's enough to keep both Apple and Microsoft occupied. So, Google buys Novell from Attachmate, and concentrates on bringing eDirectory *everywhere* in the business world. Apple doesn't have anything with which to compete in that space. Microsoft has AD, but they've spent years trying to use it to create closed solutions that bind customers to them... but still haven't managed to break the hold that Linux has over the server market... whereas eDirectory already works on Linux, and on Windows, and that alone would make it worthwhile to at least consider from a strategic perspective.

End result? Google has a moble platform that can be managed in the same way as Blackberries can, but is cross-platform. They get access to the desktop via this, too: They don't need a "Google OS" in business, just the ability to manage the ones that exist. The same extends to the server piece of the equation...

Just a thought.

Regards,

dj

I agree with most of what you said. (1)

novar21 (1694492) | more than 3 years ago | (#37114352)

But I am unsure about the game of chicken. I have a strange feeling that Google is ready to take them on. I wouldn't be surprised of they got aggressive and took the battle directly to Apple, M$, and Oracle. Since they already are in a battle with oracle, we will have to wait and see what is left of oracles patents after all of the reviews. Most of Oracles patent claims have been shot down already. They are still being reviewed, and the court case is starting to drag on. Not sure Apple or M$ would really like to end up being dragged through the courts for years and years. But what I really cannot predict is who will be willing to settle early. All of these companies have A LOT of pride. So I can only imagine a LONG and protracted patent battle to the death. Or maybe its just my sick mind dreaming. - lol

Re:I agree with most of what you said. (1)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 3 years ago | (#37114444)

Pride is a human emotion. These are not humans, they're profit making entities, and so they will stand in a game that lawyers play. Google upped the ante. There's a war on, certainly, but now Google can make Microsoft tip their hand. Apple will go at them with actual patents. Deals will be done. John and Jane Citizen and their children will be safe from the smartphone and tablet kerfuffle.

Re:I agree with most of what you said. (0)

oakgrove (845019) | more than 3 years ago | (#37114768)

With all due respect, you are deluding yourself if you actually think ego and pride play no part in the decisions made by the people pulling strings at large corporations.

Re:I agree with most of what you said. (1)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 3 years ago | (#37114886)

Pride? Testosterone and greed (called Shareholder Value). Ego? See pride.

Re:I don't think they are surrounded (1)

msobkow (48369) | more than 3 years ago | (#37114386)

I honestly don't care what the "real" reasons are behind the acquisition. I think it's a good change to the patent landscape for Google and everyone else involved. Android needs a real patent portfolio to trade off against if it's to be a serious long-term contender.

I think the Nortel patents were "Plan A." Motorola is "Plan B." There's probably plans C, D, and E as well.

Re:I don't think they are surrounded (1)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 3 years ago | (#37114460)

And other smartphone makers might be up for grabs, too. We haven't heard from the cowboys at HP yet. I'm sure they're just waiting for the dust to settle.

Re:I don't think they are surrounded (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | more than 3 years ago | (#37114414)

No red flags for microsoft there really. It has nokia as its bitch thanks to Elop, and unlike google, it paid something in line of 1/16 of the price that google ended up footing for MMI.

Re:I don't think they are surrounded (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37114858)

I am not sure I agree with your assessment of the situation.

Google paid just under their 2010 and 2009 profits for MMI. Well, the math isn't exact but their 2010 profits were $8.5B and in 2009 they were $6.5B for a total of $15B. The $12.5B cash payout for MMI will grow over the next 6-12 months because of acquisition costs. Will it equal $15B? Probably not, but close enough to say the purchase is about their previous two full years of profits.

On the other issue of how many activations they have daily, I find that puzzling. They don't get anything from these activations except some increase in ad revenue. But, they get ad revenue from all mobile sales, I would argue. However, they are currently paying licenses to others (Microsoft for example) so those activations "cost" them money.

This play is deeper than people are thinking at the moment. If it was just for the IP and patents, they wouldn't be saying they will run the company at arms length. That's what they need to say if they want to run it and not immediately scare away the other Android licensees.

Re:I don't think they are surrounded (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37114088)

You do realize that Google's operating system is called Android, right? The term "Droid" refers to a line of phones made by various manufacturer specifically for the Verizon network.

Re:He is right (2)

Dyinobal (1427207) | more than 3 years ago | (#37114014)

To me it looks like Google, is trying to force Apple and Microsoft into the corporate patent version of MAD (mutually assured destruction) with their acquisition of Motorola.

Re:He is right (1)

mabhatter654 (561290) | more than 3 years ago | (#37114808)

Bingo!
Google is looking to buy enough patents to get a 3-way cross license out of the deal. Then Android becomes a "real boy".

Re:He is right (2)

That Guy From Mrktng (2274712) | more than 3 years ago | (#37114996)

Isn't Android already the man of the house? I mean, WP7 it the beaten wife, iOS is the angst androginous 16 yo and BB the centered but always-away-in-business grown up sister. Did I miss someone? Palm? Nokia? They are that forgotten schizophrenic uncle, nobody cares.

There you go, a happy family w/ lots of spin-off potential.

Re:He is right (1)

alostpacket (1972110) | more than 3 years ago | (#37114100)

Why wouldn't the patents help against MS/Apple?

I could see the argument that they wouldnt help vs Oracle, but not against MS/Apple?

Re:He is right (5, Interesting)

HiThere (15173) | more than 3 years ago | (#37114938)

Well, it's not *just* patents. Motorola also had a special Java license. That might well be nice insurance against Oracle. (We don't really know, because the details of the license aren't public. Which, itself, is interesting.)

Re:He is right (1)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 3 years ago | (#37114138)

This isn't desperation. There are a lot of things behind this. I love how you look at this from an immediate perspective. Think of the fact that acquisitions don't happen overnight.

Then, don't think that this is just about patents, and don't be so shortsighted to assume that this is just the "cellphone" arm of the company. This is a large part of motorola's split, not just "cellphones".

There is plenty google can do, and this wasn't a mistake. It was pretty clear they got their competition to spend $4.5B on nothing.

Re:He is right (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37114580)

THIS.

Google managed to confuse their competitors into spending $4.5B on intellectual property that may as well not be worth that much, and that may require a lot of legal voodoo to tap into. Meanwhile, google spent three times that money buying that Motorola's division, but it's quite clear to me that they're buying stuff that is not limited to intellectual property; they're buying assets that are much more tangible, and if anyone knows how to make event more money of those assets, it's precisely them.

No one saw this coming, and it was pure brilliance.

Re:He is right (1)

That Guy From Mrktng (2274712) | more than 3 years ago | (#37115018)

Android cable modems, set top boxes and child monitors.

Shi^d^d^Adwords just got real!

*stares at awkward PHB's air guitar*

Re:He is right (1)

andydread (758754) | more than 3 years ago | (#37114140)

You have the Apple/Microsoft talking points down pat. And like a good drone you are disseminating them beautifully keep it up.

Re:He is right - is he? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37114192)

Both Apple and Microsoft are already in patent lawsuits with Motorola. Google has tried to get some smartphone patent portfolio for themselves too, but they just burned $12.5 billion on patents that

1) don't help them at all against Apple and Microsoft

2) alienates other Android manufacturers

But there isn't much Google can do. People act weirdly and make mistakes when they're surrounded and desperate. Google made their mistake here.

Here is one for left field ... suppose Google creates a community cross-license (CCL) pool for Android, similar to the CCL pool for WebM.

http://www.webm-ccl.org/

Most of the 31 Android manufacturers join the new Android CCL pool, and chip in their own patents as well, so that all members of the pool get a zero-cost license to use all of the patents in the pool. Non-members still have to pay license fees.

It becomes possible for members of the Android CCL pool to build an Android mobile device completely covered by patents for zero license cost. Meanwhile, makers of iOS or WP7 devices still have to pay license fees.

Makers of Android devices can produce mobile devices at much lower costs while still protected by a large patent pool for which they are licensed.

Patent war against Android evaporates. Android is far cheaper for consumers than WP7 or iOS, Android wins, as do consumers. Massive PR win for Google. WP7 and eventually iOS devices effectively disappear. All Android mobiles can render WebM video. Google reaps in heaps of cash, even while collecting zero royalties.

Re:He is right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37114286)

How could Motorola's patents NOT help against Apple and MS? Have you even looked at the kind of patents they have? They've been up to this for far longer than Apple or MS have, and have everything from modern software down to the tiniest pieces of hardware patented.

Ahh, yes, S&P.. (1)

intellitech (1912116) | more than 3 years ago | (#37113826)

Of course, being downgraded by the ratings agency that famously whiffed on highly questionable real estate bonds might be considered a badge of honor in some circles.

That agency. Too bad they've got the entire financial industry by the balls, or their words might carry less weight.

Re:Ahh, yes, S&P.. (0)

RobinEggs (1453925) | more than 3 years ago | (#37113958)

You know, the truth is no one believes any ratings agency except when it's convenient to believe it.

S&P is the ultimate case in point.

First, they get cursed out for rubber stamping a trillion dollars or so in bad mortgages. Fine, they fucked up. But at least 8 out of 10 people believed the rating, against all evidence and all the screaming of the other 2 people, for as long as they could possibly deny the problem.

But now that they've downgraded the US - a nation that has $14.5 trillion dollars in debt and so far plans to almost double that by 2020 - everyone is saying "what do those fuckers know, they're the ones who graded CDOs AAA!".

People hate ratings agencies even more for telling the truth than they do for lying or making gross mistakes. It's impossible to beat a dominant culture of self-righteous delusion.

Re:Ahh, yes, S&P.. (1)

micheas (231635) | more than 3 years ago | (#37114888)

Nobody that looked at the underlying mortgages believed those ratings.

The loans were structured to default in five years after origination.

The only reason to buy was because you believed that the homeowners would refinance and stick another sucker with the bad loan.

It wasn't a question of if the loan portfolio would go bad but when.

People that bought CDO's are idiots, or at least people that trust lying sales people.

S&P, Moody's and big accounting firms are useless for determining anything beyond how much future consulting business the rating agency/auditor believes they can get out of the company.

Re:Ahh, yes, S&P.. (1)

Alex Zepeda (10955) | more than 3 years ago | (#37114106)

Of course, being downgraded by the ratings agency that famously whiffed on highly questionable real estate bonds might be considered a badge of honor in some circles.

That agency. Too bad they've got the entire financial industry by the balls, or their words might carry less weight.

So how much weight does S&P really carry [bloomberg.com] if multiple [equitymaster.com] outlets [jsmineset.com] are shrugging off the downgrade?

Re:Ahh, yes, S&P.. (0)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 3 years ago | (#37114564)

S&P downgrades US treasuries and rates went down as MORE people bought T Bills, S&P are a fucking joke

$12.5 billion doesn't mean anything by itself. (3, Informative)

NNKK (218503) | more than 3 years ago | (#37113882)

Someone is confused by math and/or the word "almost".

MMI has billions in cash and equivalents on hand, and no debt. Google is effectively paying an amount roughly equal to their 2010 profits.

Don't distract them with facts (5, Interesting)

symbolset (646467) | more than 3 years ago | (#37114556)

They're on a roll. Don't distract them with facts.

The fact that Google is buying Motorola Mobility is interesting itself of course, but the reportage is interesting too. It's getting a ton of press [google.com] , almost all of it gloom and doom. BusinessInsider goes on about some of the major properties [businessinsider.com] in the deal, but misses some major ones like factories around the world, an ARM Architectural license, and other things.

I don't think this is a bad deal for anybody involved. Sure, MMI isn't an earnings star right now - but they just finished a painful reorg and are on track to do very well now that it's over. Even at their worst they weren't burning WP7 marketing kinds of money. Their share has been declining, but they still have more of the market than WP7 does. Google gets some more patents for their growing defensive arsenal, which means the rest of us get to keep getting ever-better shiny Android widgets. Google's Android partners get a tough defender - and now it looks likely they'll be able to assemble a patent pool terrifying in extent. Moto might even stop with that Blur and locked bootloader nonsense. Moto doesn't get carved up and eaten by another phone vendor. The US factories don't close. There's lots to be happy about.

As you note, it's barely a dent for google. Google will make almost as much income in the time it takes for the deal to close, or half as much at least. People were already complaining Google was hoarding cash [google.com] . MMI will probably spin off some money too.

So why the panic? I suppose it's disruptive. On Friday a lot of folks thought they had a plan to kill Android. Now they're going to have to go back to the drawing board. People don't like too much change.

Re:Don't distract them with facts (1)

Karlt1 (231423) | more than 3 years ago | (#37114864)

As you note, it's barely a dent for google. Google will make almost as much income in the time it takes for the deal to close, or half as much at least.

Google paid a net $9 billion for MMI (12 billion - 3 billion in cash)

Google only made 8.5 billion last year.
http://www.google.com/finance?q=NASDAQ:GOOG&fstype=ii [google.com]

Everybody's Looking at That Phone-Thing (3, Insightful)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | more than 3 years ago | (#37113892)

...and not focusing on the huge footprint Motorola has in the cable set-top box market.

Will consumers be watching videos on their computers, or surfing the Web on their TVs more in years to come? By buying the Motorola hardware, Google doesn't have to guess, their bets are hedged: They are ensured of continued revenue selling your surfing/viewing preferences to advertisers and the NSA no matter how the "connected TV" market shakes down.

Re:Everybody's Looking at That Phone-Thing (1)

aaarrrgggh (9205) | more than 3 years ago | (#37113938)

The STB business has the cable companies as their sole clients. How does that help them sell to consumers to bypass the cable companies?

Re:Everybody's Looking at That Phone-Thing (1)

Co0Ps (1539395) | more than 3 years ago | (#37113974)

Because they have the boxes?

and the cable companies have a lot of control (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 3 years ago | (#37114304)

and the cable companies have a lot of control and they are slow to update software any ways. On comcast new software takes a long time to roll out or it dies in the test market.

Re:and the cable companies have a lot of control (1)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 3 years ago | (#37114582)

up until now STB's have been mostly coded by folks who couldn't code their way out of a wet paper bag, just look at scientific atlanta junk which regularly incorrectly estimated storage usage, and not on a few percent, by multiples. long after HD digital cable came out their machines still estimated available free space assuming all stored programs were SD programs by summing their runtimes rather than looking at file system usage and or data rates. they also fail to cache channel guide data and have to requery when scrolling up and down the list. it's almost got to be intentional incompetance

Re:Everybody's Looking at That Phone-Thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37114562)

Motorola Mobility brings: Cable boxes + connections and existing contracts with cable companies.
Google brings: A company capable of remotely upgrading those boxes, selling games/stuff to run on those boxes.
Cable companies gain: A way to make money every time a customer buys a copy of angry birds.

Maybe it won't work because cable companies are both stubborn and fear Google - but there is a formula for how it could make money for everyone.

Not Motorola (2, Informative)

Snarky McButtface (1542357) | more than 3 years ago | (#37113996)

Google is purchasing Motorola Mobility. [wikipedia.org]

Re:Not Motorola (3, Informative)

Calos (2281322) | more than 3 years ago | (#37114078)

Which actually includes some odd things like set-top boxes and cable modems, at least according to the MMI websites.

Re:Not Motorola (1)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 3 years ago | (#37114156)

Motorola Mobility, as indicated, indeed includes set top boxes and a TON of other technology. Don't forget about the Atrix, and what the possibilities of a chromebook + docking android phone could do, as well.

Re:Not Motorola (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37114666)

" and what the possibilities of a chromebook + docking android phone could do, as well."

Waste a metric butt-ton of resources, money, and time, only so you can downgrade to where we were back in 1992? SIGN ME UP. This is nothing more than posturing. It's the financial equivalent of marching your troops to just the right spots, right before you attack.

Re:Not Motorola (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37115008)

Durrrrrr... Did you even read your own link?

You ain't too bright are ya?

Re:Everybody's Looking at That Phone-Thing (1)

jeffrey.endres (1630883) | more than 3 years ago | (#37114254)

Brilliant!

Re:Everybody's Looking at That Phone-Thing (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37114374)

Yeah...remember how Motorola split into two companies a while back? Obviously not. Well, Google bought the division of the company that's devoted to smart phones, Motorola Mobility. Has fuck all to do with their set top boxes. Try doing at least the minimal amount of research required to actually make a point before you try making one, even if it's a point as ridiculous as "Google doesn't want them for the smartphones, it just spent nearly 13 billion dollars so it could bring WebTV back!" That smacks of someone who huffs glue on the weekends.

Re:Everybody's Looking at That Phone-Thing (2)

Guy Harris (3803) | more than 3 years ago | (#37114676)

Yeah...remember how Motorola split into two companies a while back? Obviously not. Well, Google bought the division of the company that's devoted to smart phones, Motorola Mobility. Has fuck all to do with their set top boxes. Try doing at least the minimal amount of research required to actually make a point before you try making one

Sounds like a good idea. How about starting by looking at the Motorola Mobility home page [motorola.com] , and then at the all consumer products page for Motorola Mobility [motorola.com] , and then at, say the home digital video [motorola.com] page. Then, if you want to argue "butbutbut that's not Motorola Mobility!", try going to the Motorola US home page [motorola.com] , and then click on the Motorola Mobility link to see that it takes you to the aforementioned home page, then go back and follow the Motorola Solutions link and see that it takes you to the page for the other one of those two companies [motorolasolutions.com] , which has a different domain name.

Re:Everybody's Looking at That Phone-Thing (1)

InfiniteWisdom (530090) | more than 3 years ago | (#37114748)

Motorola spun off Motorola Mobility earlier this year, an that's the company that Google bought. That's not the same company that's making Motorola branded set-top boxes or any of the other electronic products that aren't related mobile phones.

Dan Lyons also... (2)

eddy (18759) | more than 3 years ago | (#37113902)

A hardcore supporter of SCOX when they were attacking Novell over linux. So... why listen to him? Not like there's a dearth of pundits.

Re:Dan Lyons also... (2)

andydread (758754) | more than 3 years ago | (#37114194)

Just have to mention Laura DiDio, Rob Enderle, Maureen O'Gara , Florian Mueller, There is a common connection that links these people and I wonder what entity that may be.

Re:Dan Lyons also... (1)

techsoldaten (309296) | more than 3 years ago | (#37114232)

I was wondering when someone would point this out.

This fact does not take away from the MMI deal in any way, it only shows that this guy smells blood in the water and takes it to extremes. I certainly doubt the attractiveness of the Motorola patent portfolio is what Lyons claims, but do believe this is a shrewd move on Google's part and one that is going to pay dividends.

That's some return on investment (1)

alen (225700) | more than 3 years ago | (#37113904)

Moto better make some money for them or that crazy price and the drag on earnings will kill the stock and drive talent to some new startup

Google Made Apple And Microsoft Look Like Fools (3, Insightful)

VisibleSchlong (2422274) | more than 3 years ago | (#37113922)

Let's just sum up just how hard Google outplayed Apple and Google with Motorola Mobility acquisition:

* Feigned interest in the Nortel patent with joke bids

* Apple and Microsoft fell for the bait and overpayed for Nortel's patents

* Meanwhile Google is off negotiating with Motorola for the purchase of their mobile/settop box/IPTV division

* Apple and Microsoft and their proxies are plastering the Net with justification for using patents as a weapon against the Android Juggernaut

* Google drops the Motorola Mobility purchase bomb

* Google now owns the largest mobile patent war chest with some 17,000 patents and and additional 7,500 pending

* Apple and Microsoft have now made the case for Google to go after their each of their products without mercy with their newly acquired massive patent war chest

An Epic Win for Google.

Motorola Mobile has some 3 billion in cash, so the actual purchase price is around 9.5 billion for Google. The price per patent is an absolute steal compared to the money Apple and Microsoft were tricked into spending for the less valuable Nortel patents.

And for a cherry on top of this epic win for Google, they get Motorola's set top box and IPTV products and capabilities as a bonus.

You can tell just how major this win for Google is by just how desperate the spin from the Apple and Microsoft proxies in the press are pumping out.

Apple and MS fanboys are still in shock (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37113978)

Just a couple days ago, Apple and Microsoft fanboys were cheering like mad that their motherships had found a way to finally stop the humiliating beating Google's Android was dishing out to them.

And then, BAM!. Google rocks their world.

Re:Apple and MS fanboys are still in shock (0)

oakgrove (845019) | more than 3 years ago | (#37114832)

It is truly a thing of beauty.

Re:Google Made Apple And Microsoft Look Like Fools (-1, Offtopic)

E IS mC(Square) (721736) | more than 3 years ago | (#37113982)

Oh noes... force is not strong with this one.

How date you go against the tech industry paid shills, how dare you do not believe the spins?? How dare you go fighting against the FUD? How dare you go against Slashdot cherry-picked stories? How dare you defy The Salesman??

Go Easy On The Apple Shills And Fanboys (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37114148)

This has not been a good week for them.
> The huge Motorola purchase
> Apple caught faking evidence
> HTC suing virtually Apple's entire product line for patent infringement
> Android tablets already up to 20-30 percent marketshare

There are some hissy Hipster Douchebags out there right now. Avoid Starbucks.

 

Re:Go Easy On The Apple Shills And Fanboys (2)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 3 years ago | (#37114656)

don't tell them about the snazzy gingerbread tablet from vizio that walmart is selling, it's not as powerful as some, but it very well thought out.

1) charges off USB instead of a Barrel charger
2) 3 speaker positions for sterio in portrait and landscape view
3) programmable universal remote app and IR unit for home theater integration
4) mini HDMI port and flawless rendering of 720p high profile

for $299

seriously i want this tablet

Re:Google Made Apple And Microsoft Look Like Fools (1)

fidget42 (538823) | more than 3 years ago | (#37113984)

You're Dan Lyons, aren't you?

Re:Google Made Apple And Microsoft Look Like Fools (2)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 3 years ago | (#37114946)

Begun, this patent war has.

Hardware (3, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 3 years ago | (#37113928)

While patents are part of the deal, I can see a greater emphasis in Google branching out into hardware and making their own phones in a larger scale. Lets face it, hardware manufacturers and carriers ruin the Android experience in a lot of cases, by expanding into hardware, Google can do what Apple does and create hardware and software that "just works".

Re:Hardware (1)

aaarrrgggh (9205) | more than 3 years ago | (#37113960)

But how does this help expand Android? They can make Motorola a higher margin player, but they lose the market share that gives Android relevance by alienating their other suppliers.

Re:Hardware (4, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 3 years ago | (#37114098)

Because, lets be perfectly honest for a moment, there is no Android phone that comes to the simplicity and ease of use as an iPhone. Now, while I prefer Android to an iPhone, it is because of the interesting, geeky things you can do with Android that you can't do with an iPhone (emulators, other app stores, no need to use iTunes, can use an SD card and get as much memory as you want, better multitasking, etc.). But when it comes to ease of use, the iPhone has Android beat in every way.

For example, if I'm trying to tell someone on an iPhone how to change settings, its pretty easy, hit the settings button, then go to X then go to Y then hit Z. With Android it is a mess, the settings that worked with 1.6 are different than with 2.2 and then what works on an HTC with sense is different than a phone running stock Android which is different than a Samsung with TouchWiz which is different than MotoBlur.

Not to mention that depending on the carrier, updates either happen delayed or not at all. For example, the exact same internals of a phone running on T-Mobile might get updated in August, while the Sprint counterpart might skip that update, and the AT&T phone might get the update in October.

All these silly things are keeping Android from being a serious competitor to the iPhone for a lot of people. Rather, Android is just an off-brand iPhone, for use until they can afford an iPhone or their carrier gets it. A mass-marketed Google phone could change that.

Re:Hardware (3, Insightful)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 3 years ago | (#37114180)

> Because, lets be perfectly honest for a moment, there
> is no Android phone that comes to the simplicity and
> ease of use as an iPhone.

Nonsense.

I bought an Android because it sensibly and robustly handles basic phone features. It also handles basic media with less nonsense. However, that's just an added bonus when compared to the fact that I don't have to "hack the phone" to deal with basic stuff that any Nokia handles better (than Apple).

Android needs more developers on board and more apps. The core device is fine. Superior to Apple's product even in "non geeky" ways.

Re:Hardware (2, Interesting)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | more than 3 years ago | (#37114302)

But when it comes to ease of use, the iPhone has Android beat in every way.

In much the same way that Apple's desktop OS has always had Windows beat in ease-of-use in every way. I've never seen two versions of Control Panel (to use your example) that were the same from version to version, either. Still doesn't get Apple any more than 10% of the market. Lots and lots of people like (pick any one): more flexibility, (including carriers!) more power, or lower price than they do (only) ease-of-use.

Re:Hardware (2)

_4rp4n3t (1617415) | more than 3 years ago | (#37114420)

All these silly things are keeping Android from being a serious competitor to the iPhone

What world do you live in?

Techcrunch [techcrunch.com]

Wired [wired.com]

Tested [tested.com]

NetworkWorld [networkworld.com]

Re:Hardware (1, Interesting)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 3 years ago | (#37114910)

Yes, but when it comes to what people view Android as, most people view it as a discount iPhone, which is very bad for Android's long term goals. Whenever Apple finally decides to release the iPhone for Sprint and T-Mobile, and eventually make the iPhone (or a previous generation) free on contract, Android's dominance will be over. It's like discount sodas, everyone views Dr. Thunder (or another Dr. X off-brand soda) as an off brand of Dr. Pepper, the moment Dr. Pepper drops its price to that lower of Dr. Thunder, what are people going to do? The vast majority of them will simply switch to "the real thing". Android, in the minds of many, is viewed as a cheap substitute to an iPhone, Windows Mobile (Phone 7) is viewed much the same way. As Apple expands, the cost per phone drops, allowing Apple, if it wanted to, to dramatically lower the price of its phones, particularly its older ones. Now, if Apple which has historically been a luxury brand wants to do this is a huge question, but the fact remains it -can- do it.

Google needs to transition Android from being a cheap smartphone to being the best smartphone. The iPhone used to be an easy target, no multitasking, a restrictive app store and tied to a single carrier. However, today the iPhone has multitasking, the Google App store has gotten nearly as restrictive as the Apple one, while the Apple app store has relaxed a bit, and the iPhone is available on the two biggest carriers in the US. About the only thing that Android has going for it with non-geeks is more customization of the hardware and price. And Apple can easily drop its price. Hardware is the only sustainable advantage Android has at the moment, for example, there will never be an iPhone with a physical keyboard or game-pad controls, both of which are available on Android phones.

Re:Hardware (1)

prezkennedy.org (786501) | more than 3 years ago | (#37114818)

Android is just an off-brand iPhone, for use until they can afford an iPhone or their carrier gets it.

Believe it or not, not everyone dreams of one day owning an iPhone.

Re:Hardware (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 3 years ago | (#37115020)

Ask the average person what their Android phone was, a lot of them will compare it to the iPhone, often unfavorably. This is exactly the situation Linux was in back in 2007/8 and is heading the same way.

The status quo (Vista/iPhone) isn't that good for a number of small reasons (slowness of Vista, lack of multi-tasking for iPhone, high price of both). Because of this people are willing to try substitutes for the "real thing" but compete (at least in advertising) on an unsustainable advantage, mostly based on the flaws of their competition which would be later remedied, rather than on the strengths of Android/Linux. And then a mainstream embrace of the technology then it is all but abandoned once the competition improves. Like Dell's "open source" page (which, admittedly was rather hidden and discouraged people from trying Ubuntu) that disappeared soon after Windows 7 got widespread adoption.

Unless Google makes a mainstream phone that convinces the masses that Android is not just a cheap iPhone, we will see the exact same thing that happened with Ubuntu when Windows 7 came out. Yes, there will still be a few geeks like us using Android, but it will no longer be an OS for the masses when Apple drops the price or improves iOS and the iPhone, unless Google convinces people that Android is better than the iPhone, which so far they are doing a fairly terrible job. The first Droid commercials did a great job of emphasizing that Android was better, but now they no longer apply after Apple's updates.

Re:Hardware (1)

Calos (2281322) | more than 3 years ago | (#37114124)

Only if they use the new hardware division to do things others can't - if they play favorites. If they treat all sides the same - give them all the same access to resources, technical info, dev builds, etc. - but the now-Google MMI hardware does it better... Well, that just gives the other players a model to follow. Namely, that they shouldn't think that screwing with the Android UI to have their own unique footprint is necessarily a good thing, especially if it sacrifices optimization and usability.

Re:Hardware (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#37114260)

As a Nexus One owner, I have to point out that Google's support sucks. There's still significant outsanding bugs that they never bothered to fix. They were fixed by 3rd party firmware and apps, but Google itself hasn't bother to fix any of it.

Re:Hardware (5, Interesting)

dstar (34869) | more than 3 years ago | (#37114364)

You know, your post made me wonder if that's perhaps part of the reason they made the purchase.

Google support sucks, because Google doesn't _have_ a support organization -- and they don't know how to build one, either; it's not something that lends itself to the sort of algorithmical scaling that's their strength.

MMI, on the other hand, presumably has a support organization that Google can leverage to build a support organization for their other products that need them. They might consider that valuable.

Re:Hardware (2)

tukang (1209392) | more than 3 years ago | (#37114922)

I think the patents are a ruse. Motorola could have (and probably would have) teamed up with other Android makers to protect Android, anyway. Google could have enticed Motorola to do so for less than $12.5 billion. I also think Google is in it for the handset business and intends to adopt Apple's business model in the mobile area and go head to head with them. With this purchase, Google has become the 2nd largest handset maker by market cap and has deep enough pockets and mobile software know-how to make a dent in Apple's mobile dominance. Consider that Apple has a market cap of $380 billion and derives over half its revenue from selling iphones and ipads. If Google could only steal 1/10 of that market, this purchase would have been worth it. I think this acquisition is brilliant. Google is going to advertise these phones very strongly and I expect them to reap a large profit from the handset business.

Desparation or Non-Sequiter? (1)

aaarrrgggh (9205) | more than 3 years ago | (#37113930)

I'd say the purchase was really not of much value to anyone. Google doesn't have it in their DNA to do consumer electronics; they are into advertising and SAAS. Motorola's net cost of $7B give or take gives them another lost company with poor direction and too many compromises.

My only hope is that all this nonsense ultimately leads to patent reform. I can dream...

Re:Desparation or Non-Sequiter? (1)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 3 years ago | (#37114482)

Google doesn't have it in their DNA to do consumer electronics; they are into advertising and SAAS.

So you're saying that if Google wants to get into consumer electronics, it had better acquire a consumer electronics manufacturer?

Could see rushing to outbid MS, driving up Nortel (1)

alostpacket (1972110) | more than 3 years ago | (#37113952)

But Gruber is some mac fanatic spinning wild fabrications. It was clear in the original Slashdot article about his "interpretation" of some PR speak at a conference that he was imagining his own little reality with regards to Motorola's plans. They say something to the effect of "IP is important" and he translated that to "Moto is going all patent RABMO!" (exagerating here but it's not far off).

Driving the price up for Oracle, RIM, Apple and MS is good business. Google has been known to bid just to drive prices in the past.

As for MS acquiring Moto, I'd be a little surprised if they had a serious offer on the table. I'd wager they were also trying to drive price. These things make sense, Gruber's fantasy land doesn't.

As for HTC, Samsung, et al. I would guess that Google offered them some protection from Apple and MS to help reassure them that Android is worth sticking with. I'm sure hardware manufacturers are privately evaluating long term plans, and it would be silly to think Google would give no preference to Motorola at some point eventually. But for the next year or two at the very least, I'd wager most of the Android hardware companies are on board, but keeping a keen eye on things.

S&P downgrades Google stock on Motorola deal p (1)

DrJimbo (594231) | more than 3 years ago | (#37114020)

I guess this means it was a shrewd move on Google's part. S&P helped cause the financial crash by rating sub-prime mortgages as AAA. After S&P downgraded US treasury bills people flocked to them as the safest investment in troubled times.

Bonch? Really? (2)

oakgrove (845019) | more than 3 years ago | (#37114030)

Wow. A post from this bonch character that paints google in a negative light. Color me surprised. this guy hates the google and android look through his posting history.

Re:Bonch? Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37114178)

But he has Slashdot blessing. Other stories like HTC suing Apple are buried, while we now have at least 5 front page posts how GOOGLE FUCKED IT UP!

Bonch == Florian Mueller Sockpuppet Account? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37114316)

Wouldn't be surprised. They both sound like the same person.

Re:Bonch? Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37114614)

Look through his submissions for even more obvious spin.

MG Siegler is Apple fanboy and Google hater (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37114166)

MG Siegler is too biased and I stopped reading his articles. He is smart so he knows what
he is doing which is getting more clicks by sensational headlines and zero (unbiased)
information. Reading his posts is just waste of time.

Smart Move on Google/Android (1)

DesertBlade (741219) | more than 3 years ago | (#37114190)

This could be big. If Google, Samsung, HTC and Sony team up for team Android, their portfolio will be rock solid. Apple, Microsoft, Nokia, etc, will be having a hard time leveraging patent war against them.

Google could lock out the other partners, but they are all making some great hardware and you know Apple/M$ are scared with all the recent lawsuits. The more Android devices they more revenue is being generated for Google.

Wow, what a choice (1)

sootman (158191) | more than 3 years ago | (#37114200)

Agree with Lyons or Gruber? Ugh. :-)

Well, looking at it, I think I'll go with Gruber on this one.

Re:Wow, what a choice (1)

alostpacket (1972110) | more than 3 years ago | (#37114384)

Well since niether have any actual evidence of their claims, I dont think you have to agree with either. Google may really have wanted the Nortel Patents, but to think they bought Motorola on some threat FROM Motorola, is a little hard to fathom. I do believe the bit about MS bidding for Moto though.

Bold move, too soon to tell how it'll pan out (1)

Flipao (903929) | more than 3 years ago | (#37114292)

If you took a biased view you could probably spin this deal in any direction you wanted.

There are clear downsides in that this puts Google in direct competition with other manufacturers and it doesn't necessarily guarantee Android will be immune to patent litigation. On the other hand this means Motorola will not be making WP7 devices any time soon and all but ensures the long term future of Android as a relevant platform.

Whatever the outcome this gives Google the best possible chance to take the competition out of the courtroom and into the open market.

Something most people have missed out on: Imagine it'd been Microsoft who bought Motorola, that could have been a massive blow, this now puts them in a position where they can sit and hope for the best, or follow Google's lead yet again and buy out a dying Nokia which would be downright suicidal, or RIM, which would make far more sense given their strength in the enterprise.

in for a penny, in for a pound (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 3 years ago | (#37114326)

Google bought android for $50 million in 2005. Last month they bought 1,000 patents from IBM (I can't find a number, but I thought $1 billion was thrown around). Now, $12.5 billion for Motorola.

Google makes money selling ads (or, perhaps, your information). That's a lot of ads until Ahab^w, Larry's baby is in the black.

It is not $12.5B!!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37114358)

MMI has over $3B in cash and over $2B in deferred tax credits, so the *real* cost is a little over $7B.

Too bad lazy ass Gruber and MG Siegler couldn't be bothered to look at MMI's last quarterly statement to easily discover this information. They both have zero credibility after their posts on this deal.

Glad I held onto the stock... (3, Interesting)

DomNF15 (1529309) | more than 3 years ago | (#37114476)

When I left the GSM Mobile division of Motorola 3 years ago, I would have bet money that the company would fall flat sooner rather than later. My aptly timed departure came only a few months before my entire team was sent home. After riding the Razr wave all the way back to the beach, Moto had no competitive mobile software platform in its R&D pipeline. Even at that time, there were talks of the company spurning its mobile division, which was bleeding cash at an unprecedented rate and dropping market share to Apple, Samsung, and others. At a few dark corners of the office, a privileged group were working on integrating Android on some upcoming VZW handsets. Fast forward a bit, and Motorola finally did split the mobile division off. They were gunning for this outcome for years, I think Google was an inevitable outcome.

Re:Glad I held onto the stock... (1)

shadowofwind (1209890) | more than 3 years ago | (#37114716)

How healthy is the remaining part of Motorola? Everyone's talking about the part that Google got, but I'm interested in understanding what's left of the company.

It's not $12.5B for patents (1)

Lifyre (960576) | more than 3 years ago | (#37114542)

Motorola has a few billion in cash on hand, the set top portion of the company has been conservatively valued at about $2.5B if sold today so Google effectively paid $6.5B for 24,000 patents, many of which can provide protection against the likes of Apple and Microsoft in the mobile market, and got the entire phone design and manufacturing part of the company for free. There are very few ways Google didn't get a good deal here for the long term and almost all of them involve those 24,000 patents being near worthless and Android being heavily saddled with licensing issues.

Bigger Question... (1)

prezkennedy.org (786501) | more than 3 years ago | (#37114770)

Who is MG Siegler and why should we give a damn what he thinks about anything?

Analysis of Dan Lyons FUD (1)

microphage (2429016) | more than 3 years ago | (#37114830)

Slashdot Editors: Are you that desperate for material?
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