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Did Google Buy Motorola To Prevent It From Destroying Android?

There's much more to the proposed acquisition of Motorola Mobility Holdings by Google than meets the eye, especially as the deal appears to have been initiated only recently after some very worrying signs from Motorola, a vital Android partner.

It's worth noting that Motorola Mobility was only created at the beginning of the year after being spun off from Motorola (the other activities of Motorola being lumped together as Motorola Solutions), nearly three years after its most vocal investor Billionaire Carl Icahn single-handedly forced the company to separate the then money-losing mobile phone business from the more lucrative "Solutions" division.

Severing the Mobile division from the rest of the company may have been the sine-qua-non condition for a rapid sale of the company. Furthermore Gigaom (opens in new tab) reports that Microsoft may have been interested in acquiring Motorola Mobility (and its nearly 25,000 patents), something that could have altogether eliminated the Android threat.

Neither can we ignore the rumours back in March when Motorola Mobility's CEO, Sanjay Jha, hinted that the company might want to have its own OS, despite using Google's Android OS in all its smartphones, nor can we forget the same Jha citing the Nokia-Microsoft partnership as the kind of "hardware-software" consolidation that Motorola might consider, or alluding to a possible Windows Phone 7 from the company.

But there's more than that; Motorola (opens in new tab) already publicly admitted - last week actually - that it could collect IP royalties from other Android device manufacturers, something that would potentially have been even more devastating than the current legal tussles with Microsoft, Oracle and Apple.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.