It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World

By  Jessica Binns — September 09, 2011

Google, Motorola, and HP—oh my!

These three technology titans have been shaking up the mobile market, much like the 5.9-magnitude earthquake that recently rocked the East Coast. Internet giant Google is jockeying for greater influence in the mobile industry with its acquisition of Motorola Mobility, which raises the question: how will the popular Android operating system be affected?

In our cover story “Mobile OS Olympics,” research firm Yankee Group investigates the current leaders among the mobile operating systems and which OSes will prevail in the future—yet we can’t help but wonder if “Googlerola” will change how IT executives feel about supporting Android in the enterprise.

What’s more, Google’s move to enter the device hardware business could upend the OEM landscape. Will vendors such as Samsung and HTC stick with Android or seek new software partners? Could this decision end up helping Windows Phone 7 to find fertile ground?

One operating system has already dropped out of the race for mindshare among businesses and consumers. HP caught everyone unawares with its controversial decision to ax the webOS operating system, drop the TouchPad less than seven weeks after its launch, and exit the PC business. This also means corporations will have one less option when buying laptops for employees.  

Some analysts believe HP’s reorganization and decision to focus on services, software, and support is wise—and mirrors the current industry-wide emphasis on all things cloud. But if that’s the case, doesn’t it make sense to offer mobile endpoints purpose-built for access to cloud services?

Indeed, Aberdeen Group’s Andrew Borg decries HP’s decision to drop webOS. “It’s the jewel in the crown and they threw the jewel on the floor,” he says.

So long, webOS—we never knew thee. 

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