Quote to Note: Google Motorola

August 16, 2011

Quote to note: I don’t have much light to shed on the purchase of Motorola by Google.

The Roman army’s testudo. Great strategy as long as the enemy did what Roman commanders expected. The unexpected? Well, the testudo still makes for  interesting footage in movies like The Gladiator. Image source: A happy quack to http://forums.taleworlds.com/index.php?topic=2975.1410

I have been flicking through the inputs and outputs from pundits of all persuasions. One write up—“The Truth about the Google Motorola Deal: it Could End Up Being a Disaster”—contained a statement I wanted to capture. Here it is:

… a big rationale for making this deal seems to be about buying mobile patents–and, thus, “defendingAndroid from Apple’s and Microsoft’s attacks. It seems safe to say that, six months ago, investors and partners did not realize that Google was going to have to shell out $13 billion to “defend” Android, let alone start competing with its hardware partners.

I have highlighted the two key words and phrases in this passage.

My focus is search. But as enticing as mobile search is, these two words do not suggest to me that Google is focusing on its core competency. Tactical moves, surprising investors and hardware partners, and moving into the digital equivalent of the testudo—fascinating. Do I have thoughts about fragmentation, Google’s management capabilities, or the litigation that Motorola brings along with its original SMS technology? Nope. Think the turtle and what happened when Rome’s allies got frisky.

Stephen E Arnold, August 16, 2011

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