At CES 2011, Motorola showed off a concept for its new Webtop platform. The Webtop software allowed supported Motorola devices, such as the Motorola Atrix 4G, to connect to a supported accessory, like the Laptop dock or HD multimedia dock, and launch an Ubuntu-based environment that synced nicely with the phone. Many called it the biggest innovation of the trade show for that year.
Perhaps saddening Webtop loyals, rumors began popping up a few weeks ago about Motorola’s plans to kill-off the platform. Putting rest to the rumors this weekend, Motorola subsequently confirmed the news to CNET. Google-owned Motorola issued the following statement:
Motorola’s Webtop app helps users extend their smartphone experience to larger screens. 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.
I think Motorola put too much faith in Webtop. Users do not want to purchase a separate laptop or accessory to connect their phone. They want to use their current laptop and just connect via USB. Syncing over the cloud is also a focus.
Due to being owned by Google, I think Motorola could do some pretty cool stuff with Chrome-OS (this is a place I think phones could integrate well with the platform rather than a separate Ubuntu instance).
At any rate, R.I.P. Webtop.