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Google-owned Motorola Mobility throws out Webtop concept, scraps Lapdock development

Motorola Mobility has confirmed that it will no longer develop and market Webtop, a hardware-and-software solution that allowed a smartphone (starting with the Motorola Atrix) to transform into an ultra portable laptop thanks to a docking station.

The company published a statement - first revealed by CNET (opens in new tab) - saying that while the technology has been adopted by consumers worldwide and “spurred a lot of innovation in the industry," it hasn’t been successful enough to “justify continued resources being allocated to develop Webtop on future devices”.

The rest of the statement hints at other reasons that might explain the demise of Webtop. Newer versions of Android, the statement continues, include more desktop-like features (the original Atrix was launched with Android 2.3 Gingerbread prior to the acquisition by Google of Motorola Mobility).

(opens in new tab)It is likely that Google will move internal Webtop resources to Chrome OS and ultimately to Android itself which will become, as we already know, Google’s only operating system. Perhaps not in 2012, but almost certainly by the end of 2013.

The Webtop docking station, which was launched at CES back in January 2011, carried a rather expensive price tag when bundled with an Atrix but since the beginning of the year, it has been being cleared out for as little as £300.

Désiré Athow

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 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.