Motorola kills off Webtop

Motorola has confirmed it’s killed off its Webtop software and range of mobile accessories, Webtop let you use your phone as the guts of a laptop or TV entertainment hub, just by plugging it in.

It made its debut with the Motorola Atrix, and stood out at the time as a really innovative concept. Take the laptop dock. It was effectively the shell of a notebook that you plugged your Atrix into, and then could use for mobile computing. But sales proved disappointing.

Motorola, owned by Google, said adoption wasn’t strong enough to justify devoting more resources to the project. Which is company speak for sales proved disappointing. It added that Webtop would be increasingly redundant as Android begins to include more features you’d usually find in a desktop OS.

“Motorola’s Webtop app helps users extend their smart phone experience to larger screens,” Motorola said in a statement. “While consumers around the world have adopted Webtop and the concept spurred a lot of innovation in the industry, the adoption has not been strong enough to justify continued resources being allocated to developing Webtop on future devices.

“We have also seen development of the Android operating system focus on the inclusion of more desktoplike features. Beginning with Photon Q and Droid Razr M/Droid Razr HD/Droid Razr Maxx HD, we will no longer be including Webtop on our products moving forward.”

Webtop-enabled handsets and accessories proved prohibitively pricey, which dampened the early enthusiasm. The first version of the software was slow and buggy too, though Motorola did improve it later.

This is just the latest Motorola cost Google has cut. It’s already incurred a $340 million (£210 million) bill for severance packages and other fees. Google is refocussing Motorola’s business model on core principles, which will mean job losses from its operations worldwide.

Are you going to miss Webtop? What do you think of Motorola since Google took over?

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