"Although they provided canned quote from key partners, I am sure that hardware OEMs will be very nervous now about whether Google is playing the Android field evenly," said an executive at one Taiwan notebook maker who asked not to be named.
If I am a top tier OEM I will be for sure not only nervous about this event, but also the fact that this partnership is bound to create discrepancies in the way they will be treated in future.
But Wall Street analysts have already starting hammering Google execs about getting into a "non-core business" with Motorola. They know such hardware businesses with their complex supply chains and rapid product cycles are anathema to Web companies today.
Then there is small matter of managing such a complex business as Motorola in the long run, it will be quite challenging to efficiently manage these two different businesses.
Indeed, it would seem insofar as Motorola does open the door to any corporate synergies, Google will only be able to take advantage of them at the expense of its relationships with competing Android OEMs.
Again, IMO reasonable logic, other OEMs will definitely want to have other options open to them, so to keep their reliance on Big G to not more then what is needed.
Apple, Microsoft and others fighting the on-rush of Android likely are pleased to see disrupted Google's business model of being a neutral supplier of free mobile software. It is not the legal victory they were seeking, but it nevertheless represents a formidable set of new challenges to Android's continued success.
In the end, Larry Page's tenure as chief executive and the future of Android may be measured by the outcome of his bold bid for Motorola's patents.
as long as google's code remains free and open to all, and as long as google-moto doesnt get anything special that other manufacturers do... all this anxiety is useless. while i agree that google could easily abuse this fact, at this point the android market is still (in my opinion) in its infancy stages and by using every single manufacturer it can take android to a mature state so to do so would not be in their best interests.
if google is able to work closely with motorola (now that they will be one company it should be easy to get along!) perhaps we could even see some improvements that we have been waiting on for a long time. maybe stock android code will feature useful apps from the get go, maybe more feature ideas will be integrated into a moto phone (that others can mimic), etcetera.
"....at one taiwan notebook maker...." motorola makes laptops? i dont recall ever hearing about one so why does this unamed ceo worry so much? at this point the opposition is generalized "android smartphone versus android laptop" instead of google playing unfairly.
"...herding the android cats...." the problem is in the open nature of google code. instead of just modifying it to suit the hardware oems throw in "bloatware" and other such nonsense. perhaps if the android platform fully matures and provides all that is needed then oems can be coerced to all use stock (with changes based on hardware only) and any extras can be uninstalled at any time .
at this point in time we cannot judge how the market will turn out. all we can do is sit back and wait as you said.
IMO at some point in time Google will start giving preferential status to Motorola, which is only natural. I think in Asia Android's march will slow down considerably overtime, as Samsung is pushing its Bada platform more aggressively + the biggest future market of them all i.e. China, is slowly slipping out of Google's hands. Recently Ali Baba announced their own OS to add to to this complex situation. Anyway it is all guess, so as I said earlier in due course of time things will start to clear out.
Personally I want a very competitive market, where all OS exist, as this will drive innovation much faster.
at this point in time google (and android) has just a small handhold on the smartphone marketplace. how they develop from now on will either boot them from the race or put them well in the lead.
we all know the perks of android: open source goodness combined with direct google services integration. the fact that a few run on powerful hardware is just a plus.
however we all know the bad side as well: oems changing code, stock android not having good apps, lack of a real theme manager, very disorganized marketplace, etcetera.
what google really needs to do is (i hate to say it but it is 100% true) copy some of the things that apple does. for starters an official app store needs to be laid out in a manner that is easy to navigate. i'm not saying kill all apps, but definitely create a way to sort out the junk from the good stuff. next there needs to definitely be either itunes integration (very very doubtful knowing apple!) or a music store with a library comparable (amazon-mp3 is good but the library is much more limited). next there needs to be a tad more work done with google maps, navigation, search and voice integration. the apps do work well but there is a little bit missing, for starters what about click & drag route modification?
if google gets their priorities in order and provides us with a very good base platform, as well as maintaining their "open to all" nature i think they will definitely come out ahead. motorola or no motorola. even if moto had the technology a month before the others, in the scheme of things: who cares? not like this would be any different from how things are currently done by google. i would suggest not playing favorites, but in the long run its not a game ender.
i'd rather have a market with two or three major contenders with well integrated systems and perfected os than a dozen competetors who drive innovation but lack the unity required to actually succeed.
as much as it pains me to say it, apple has done a very commendable job. the only very major things keeping it from being perfect are the closed nature of ios, aac, phone design issues and pricing plans. google should definitely take a look and utilize some of the same ideas.