Part of Motorola’s (MOT) massive cuts: A team of more than 70 working on Microsoft’s (MSFT) Windows Mobile platform in Florida, according to the WSJ.
So is Motorola ditching Windows Mobile — which has lost a great deal of relevance to Apple’s (AAPL) iPhone platform and RIM’s BlackBerry platform? No, Motorola says.
Last October, we made several significant announcements that outlined our plan to dramatically reduce our silicon and software platforms, which would enable us to simplify our product portfolio, accelerate the time-to-market and provide differentiated devices and experiences for consumers. Today, our plans remain the same — rebuilding and repositioning the Mobile Devices business remain a top priority. We plan to focus on three software platforms in UMTS: Linux/Android, Windows Mobile, P2K, and to leverage ODM software at the very low end.
One bit of nuance: Last time we asked Motorola about this, when we’d first heard of the layoffs at the Windows Mobile team in Florida more than two weeks ago, their email listed Windows Mobile before “Linux-based Android.” Now Android is first and Windows Mobile is next.
This might not mean anything. Or it could mean the company is de-emphasising its focus on Windows Mobile and betting bigger on Android. Perhaps we’ll get an update during the company’s earnings call tomorrow. But either way, the company has to focus on some sort of smartphones — they’re one of the few growth areas in the mobile business, and when done right, they’re more profitable than cheaper, “dumb” phones.
Meanwhile, we’re not exactly enamoured with Microsoft’s current Windows Mobile, but we hear the company is working on a new version that’s pretty good. Android is the more polished of the two operating systems but still has an uncertain future. For instance, the top two U.S. mobile carriers — Verizon Wireless and AT&T — still haven’t touched it.