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Is Motorola contemplating drop Android from some of its smart phones and developing its own proprietary OS? Analysts say so, and recent hiring pickup at Motorola offers supporting evidence.  (Source: IBTimes)

Thus far Motorola's smart phones and tablets have been almost exclusively powered by Android.
Company has gone on hiring binge, recruiting from Apple and Adobe

The mobile OS market is already pretty crowded.  Research in Motion (RIM OS), Hewlett Packard (webOS), and Apple (iOS) both make operating systems for use on their first-party devices.  And Microsoft (Windows Phone 7) and Google (Android) both produce operating systems which they license to device partners.  So does the mobile space really need another operating system?

Motorola Mobility, one of the top Android phone-makers, reportedly thinks so.  In a surprising move the company is poaching engineers at Apple and Adobe in what, according to reports, is a major commitment to designing its own smart phone operating system.

Jonathan Goldberg, an analyst with Deutsche Bank in San Francisco comments in an interview with Information Week, "I know they're working on it. I think the company recognizes that they need to differentiate and they need options, just in case. Nobody wants to rely on a single supplier."

Analysts indicate what is less clear is when we might see the finished product or what stage the operating system is at.

The company's acquisitions point to a web-standards based operating system, similar Hewlett-Packard's webOS.  Among the hires was Gilles Drieu, who was a former head of Apple's rich media and applications group.  Mr. Drieu has worked closely with Web standards groups WhatWG and W3C and holds numerous Web-related patents.  He is now a vice-president a Motorola Mobility, and reports indicate he may be heading the OS project.

Reportedly Motorola is frustrated with the fragmentation of the Android operating system (as Google refuses to enforce a strict hardware spec and relies on hardware makers and carriers to tweak and push out OS updates).  It also reportedly is upset about lack of support.

A source close to the project is quoted by Information Week as accusing, "Google is shooting itself in the foot."

Motorola remains one of the best selling producers of Android smart phones, with models such as the Droid, Droid 2, Droid X, and Atrix 4G.  It also relies on Android for its recent tablets push, which began with the launch of the dual-core Android 3.0 Honeycomb-packing Motorola Xoom.

A Motorola spokesperson states, "Motorola Mobility is committed to Android as an operating system."

Committed perhaps, but not too committed to seek alternatives, according to reports.




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