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back to article Google officially buys Motorola, hits refresh on CEO

Google has officially bought Motorola Mobility and gifted Mountain View's senior veep Dennis Woodside with the task of the running the company. Motorola's current CEO Sanjay Jha has been dropped in favour of Woodside - a Ironman triathlete who Google chief Larry Page described as being "phenomenal at building teams". Page also …

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"Many users coming online today may never use a desktop machine"

Is it just me, or does that comment remind anyone else of the "Paperless office" comments of the '80's and '90's? I think it's going to be a while before people do everything on their phones and/or tablets.

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Meh

Re: "Does that comment remind anyone else of the 'Paperless office'..."

Well, it certainly had me reaching for the wastebasket...

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Re: "Many users coming online today may never use a desktop machine"

A little parochial, I fear. There are parts of the world where many people have never *seen* a desktop PC, yet are increasingly well connected via mobile devices.

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Re: "Many users coming online today may never use a desktop machine"

"Is it just me, or does that comment remind anyone else of the "Paperless office" comments of the '80's and '90's? I think it's going to be a while before people do everything on their phones and/or tablets."

Depends on whether he meant desktop as in desktop OS (Windows, OS X, etc.) or desktop PC (iMac, tower+monitor, etc.). Desktop OS is BS, but if you think about it, there's an interesting point about desktop PC vs. laptop, in that you can pick up your 'computing life' and take it with you, something far less common 10 years ago.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "Many users coming online today may never use a desktop machine"

>there are parts of the world where many people have never *seen* a desktop PC

That's not only wrong its very wrong - the poorer parts of the world have, want and need desktops and workstations - not laptops, netbooks or OLPCs and certainly not tertiary devices - they'll take a 10 year old (repairable, software rich and productive) Windows desktop PC over these anytime.

If you work in IT and think otherwise, you should probably sit quietly and think about your susceptibility to marketing and hype.

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Re: "Many users coming online today may never use a desktop machine"

Doesn't mean that's the way they prefer it. I've never seen a Bugatti Veyron either, but if I had one I wouldn't swap it for a moped.

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Go

Re: "Many users coming online today may never use a desktop machine"

"Doesn't mean that's the way they prefer it. I've never seen a Bugatti Veyron either, but if I had one I wouldn't swap it for a moped."

You might, shortly after visiting the petrol station for the first time...

Okay, maybe the second or third.

Sod it, keep the damn thing, sell the house, the kids don't really need a home...

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Trollface

I guess that's the patent row taken care of then.

Google 1 - Apple 0

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Holmes

It'll be much more interesting to watch now, but I would say it is by no means game over in the patent wars. To use a war metaphor, superior manoeuvring can sometimes beat superior numbers. Apple almost certainly have the upper hand in terms of experienced patent lawyers, and of course they've never gone up against Google directly. And Google to my eyes have ambled very slowly along in the patent wars - I still maintain I would've thrown the lawyers at Microsoft when they insisted they should get royalties for android.

The game has changed, but there's still all to play for. Although it would be amusing if one of the big players suddenly went for a face turn and tried to convince everyone now was the time to stop patent litigation.

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Anonymous Coward

Or maybe not?

If you'd been following the 'patent wars' (I have been), you'll have noticed that motorola isn't actually doing very well. Their only real win so far has been against iCloud - they can possibly stop apple from delivering push email. Not bad, but nowhere near enough to prevent apple from 'winning' (and you'll want to include microsoft too btw, as that's the other side of motorola's battle just now).

The other 'victories' have been on FRAND patents, and only in Germany where the law is utterly stupid (and out of line with EU law, and appeals end up with the EU, making victories in germany very much short term).

Problem with FRAND patents: Motorola promised to license them fairly, and to anyone. They've not been doing that, and several judges have found that they've not been doing that. The EU suspects they've not been doing that, and have started an anti-trust investigation.

Even if they were to win with these patents, it would be a disaster for basically everyone. They could say to any company "You can only build a phone if it doesn't have wifi, 3G or play video, unless you pay us 7.5% of the retail price". That's more than the profit margin for many companies (including motorola themselves judging by their lack of profits!), so many companies couldn't afford to sell phones. This is why they're accused of 'market abuse'.

It's going to be very interesting to see how google handle the patent issue. They can continue with Motorola's strategy, and risk a colossal backfire. Or they can drop all the cases where they're asking for bans based on FRAND patents, and risk getting hammered by microsoft and apple.

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Anonymous Coward

Google have actually had very few patents, that's why they've stayed out of it. They've been buying them up though, and loaning them to android OEMs. Makes sense - apple + MS have been inventing stuff for OSes and computers for decades, while google is both pretty new and mainly focused on search + advertising, which isn't really relevant.

Also, if I had some patent that android infringed, I have a choice: I can sue google, who distribute the infringing source code, or I can sue the OEMs that sell it on devices. If the patent covers hardware I'd obviously go after OEMs because google didn't make anything before today.

Most patent battles include mixed software and hardware. The exception is Oracle, which is a pure software case - and they went straight to google.

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@Chris 19

That is a very concise yet complete overview of the situation! Very nicely done!

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Anonymous Coward

About time

Can we get some bloody updates for our phones now?

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FAIL

Re: About time

Including my Xoom, which was supposed to be a "Google Experience" device....?

I guess I did get the full Google experience, after all. That Xoom was the biggest ripoff right after buying anything Garmin or Sony.

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opine

"Many users coming online today may never use a desktop machine"

<cough> bulls**t </cough>

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Re: opine

Dunno, most of the parents of children my daughter's age (9) have tablets or notebooks, while her school just dumped their ancient eMacs for a cartload of MacBooks. By the time she's in high school, I fully expect we'll be required to shell out for some standard laptop or tablet. Hell, she's already gotten into the habit of asking to borrow my phone if she wants to look up something while we're out of the house. My phone already supports external peripherals that can turn it into a pseudo-netbook, as phones get more powerful and cloud storage becomes more prevalent, I wouldn't be at all surprised to see low-end "tablets" that simply provide a bigger touch-screen and link to your phone over bluetooth.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: opine

"school just dumped their ancient eMacs for a cartload of MacBooks."

Hello Austerity (wave as you walk by)! And we wonder why there is a deficit.

Not just labour with the waste of public money then?

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A small correction.......

"A major area of concern related to watchdogs sniffing out whether the pool of over 17,000 patents granted to Motorola (and over 7,000 still pending) would be used by Google to unfairly influence the market."

Try....

A major area of concern related to watchdogs sniffing out whether the pool of over 17,000 patents granted to Motorola (and over 7,000 still pending) would be used by Google to unfairly influence rebalance the market.

There, that fixed that for you........

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Anonymous Coward

Re: A small correction.......

"rebalance the market"?

That would be really funny for a company effectively engaged in dumping: giving away a mobile software stack at a loss in order to achieve market domination.

Is that helping to balance the market too? If so it's not working since they're apparently shipping a lot of units out there.

Maybe you are suggesting that Google should now target their old allies with this patent horde, in order to curb their production?

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Anonymous Coward

Don't cry for Mr. Jha

He is surely laughing all the way to the bank. He was one of the highest-paid CEO's around when the phone guys split off from Motorola a couple of years ago.

I wonder - do any of the beancounters compute the ratios of CEO pay to company revenue, or more importantly company profits? Might be enlightening in this case.

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