Although Microsoft and Motorola are currently in the early stages of patent litigation over Google’s Android platform, the companies are indicating that they would be willing to work together on Windows Phone 7 devices…at least in theory.
The indications come from both Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and Motorola co-CEO Sanjay Jha. At a press conference at BitKOM in Cologne, Germany, Ballmer indicated Microsoft would be willing to collaborate with anyone who wanted to work on Windows PHone 7 devices—and that would presumably include Motorola. Speaking to the Wall Street Journal (subscription required), Jha said Motorola would be open to developing devices for WIndows Phone 7 if they find the operating system is sufficiently compelling.
The possibility of Motorola working on Windows Phone 7 devices comes after Motorola dropped Windows Mobile back in 2009, essentially making an all-or-nothing bet on Android as its preferred mobile operating system going forward. Motorola characterizes that decision as one that has saved its faltering mobile phone business. Although Motorola had a huge hit years ago with its RAZR line, until its recent flurry of Android devices the company had never managed to follow up with a solid success.
Back ins 2008, Motorola’s mobile misfortunes also caused the company set aside plans to spin off its mobile business into a separate company. In comments to Businessweek, Jha indicating Motorola may now consider spinning off its mobile phone business in the first quarter of 2011.
So far, Samsung, LG, and HTC are lined up to have Windows Phone 7 devices ready to go for Windows Phone 7’s official launch next week. Hewlett-Packard and Toshiba have also confirmed plans to build devices for the platform.