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Motorola had another suitor: Microsoft (gigaom.com)
62 points by fpgeek on Aug 15, 2011 | hide | past | web | favorite | 21 comments

According to this report: http://www.businessinsider.com/microsoft-was-interested-in-m..., Microsoft was not interested in buying Motorola. Instead, they were (supposedly) close to settling their patent dispute with Motorola, and signing a cross-licensing deal giving them access to Motorola's patents.

If Microsoft was settling their patent dispute with Motorola and looking at a cross-licensing agreement, that is all the more reason for Google to buy them. Either Google gets a cross-licensing deal and gets the protection they want for the Android ecosystem (at least from Microsoft) or Google winds up with a patent portfolio that Microsoft has already decided is dangerous.

Had Microsoft bought Motorola, Nokia would've been in some interesting times...

It is interesting the level of poker these tech firms are starting to play with each other.

We don't see these announcements playing out the way they would have in the gogo 90's, but the magnitude of these deals are equal or bigger, and have more meaning in the long term than what we saw in the last tech boom.

so Motorola bluffed young Google CEO into the deal by threatening to sell to MSFT? Looks like there was some value in having Schmidt as the CEO.

Not a bluff. Microsoft would gladly have paid billions to increase their ability to extort fees from Android manufacturers, or shut them down altogether like Apple is trying to do.

Or to prevent Google from acquiring MOTO's patents and potentially remove the second largest Android manufacturer.

>Microsoft would gladly have paid billions

even following your logic and supposing that buying MOTO would have helped MSFT achieve these goals - they still haven't paid the billions, or do you suggest that there was a bidding war (and a young cool player just overbid them ? :)

Haven't seen numbers for what Microsoft was willing to pay. How do you know they overbid?

I don't think Microsoft is or ever was seriously interested in buying a hardware OEM. After all, they stayed away from PC OEMS even when their market capitalization was north of $500 billion.

When asked why don't they make their own Windows Phone(with WP7) instead of relying on OEMs for it, their reply was 'Microsoft likes to create platforms'.

This is the reason that they will probably stay away from Nokia.

I think their one exception is consoles, where they went with the industry standard of vertically integrated hardware.

I do think MS would benefit from vertical integration in the mobile space though.

If there's one consistent pattern to OS platforms (MSFT or otherwise) is that you can expect your OEMs to completely manhandle and abuse it.

It happened to Windows, it's happening now to Android, and without Nokia around to whip the other OEMs into line, it will happen with WP7 also.

Is it any surprise that the most sought after phones have all been vertically integrated? There's a level of hardware-software integration and polish possible there that OEM-based platforms have yet to be able to approach.

>If there's one consistent pattern to OS platforms (MSFT or otherwise) is that you can expect your OEMs to completely manhandle and abuse it.

It's not easy to manhandle and abuse WP7. No one can preinstall running services and non-uninstallable(!) apps like on Android. All OEMS/carriers get is a longer tile on the homescreen that can be removed/uninstalled with a long press. There are strict minimum hardware requirements. I think MS learnt the lesson from the PCs.

>Is it any surprise that the most sought after phones have all been vertically integrated?

Care to back that up? The only recent example is iPhone. RIM and WebOS are either slow or going down. The counter examples are Android which seem to be doing VERY well and displacing iPhone/Symbian/RIM as the top dog.

What Android phone has been among the "most sought after phones"? From all the reports I've seen, no particular Android phone is sought after they way iPhone is currently sought after, or the way Blackberry was once sought after.

The Droid (aka Milestone) and Evo 4G were both pretty sought-after.

I disagree - we're talking about at least an order of magnitude difference in "sought after". The Droid, Evo 4G, and now the Galaxy 2 are all highly sought after phones... in the smartphone enthusiast community.

Which at the end of the day is just a subset of the "gadget/tech enthusiast" community, which is a tiny subset even then of the greater population.

The cachet and demand of the Evo 4G to, say, the iPhone, or BlackBerry during its heyday, are completely different.

From where are you getting your numbers? http://blog.flurry.com/bid/31410/Day-74-Sales-Apple-iPhone-v...

The phones you listed have HUGE worldwide demand. While it may not eclipse iPhone because it's one device, they're nothing to sneeze at, and the demand goes way beyond geeks.

Is there some place where you're getting your hard data?



The Samsung Galaxy S was and is a highly sought after device too. To a lesser extent also the Nexus S.

Well yeah that's the whole point of vertical integration. To create one or just a few very polished "sought after" devices. In horizontal integration you have many phones, some might be sought after more than others, but the user-base is distributed along all devices. Both models can work well as seen with the success of iOS and Android.

>I think their one exception is consoles

Uhh, Zune? And it's particularly relevant given the ipod/iphone transition path.

I also find it relevant that they started with a platform approach for Zune, then changed it to be vertically integrated. Why would they not consider the same for phones if they could buy MOTO and use them to bootstrap verticle integration?

They did provide Windows CE for the Dreamcast though, before the Xbox.

EDIT: Some more background here: http://news.cnet.com/Windows-CE-notably-absent-from-Dreamcas...

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