Meet Google’s secret weapon for fighting Apple and Microsoft

Motorola Lapdock 500(Credit: Photo by: Jason Hiner/CNET)

Motorola Mobility CEO Sanjay Jha pulled off one of the most difficult things to do in the technology industry: He surprised people at a press conference.

When Jha took the stage at the Consumer Electronics Show 2011 and revealed the Motorola Atrix smartphone and the “Lapdock” that made it act like a laptop computer, it sent reporters scrambling. They expected the unveiling of the Motorola Xoom, the highly anticipated and already-leaked first official Android tablet to take on the Apple iPad. But, it was the Atrix and the Lapdock that stole the show.

The key was Motorola’s homegrown software called “Webtop” that made the Atrix act like a computer once it was docked. When Webtop launched with the Atrix two months later, the obvious question was how Motorola beat platform giants Microsoft and Apple to the converged smartphone-PC device?

The answer is complicated but fascinating, and on the eve of Motorola Mobility’s merger with Google, it leaves the combined companies in an enviable position. The success of Android has established Google as a key player in mobile computing devices, and once consumers and business users start looking to consolidate their many devices, Webtop could make Google the company that’s best positioned to make that consolidation possible.MORE

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