Motorola seeks to hire up to 300 Google Android developers

Motorola wants to enrich its development base with Android developers, but will it matter?

Palm may not have much of an appetite for Google's Android platform for mobile phones, but Motorola definitely does.

Reports in Top Tech News and elsewhere suggest that Motorola is looking to hire hundreds of Google Android developers. Indeed, a quick search of Motorola's job openings suggests that, indeed, Android is set to become a permanent fixture at Motorola, which has long built Linux-based phones but hitherto used MontaVista's Mobilinux.

The goal? Move from an internal development pool of 50 Android-savvy developers to 350.

Motorola, recognizing that most developers won't have deep experience with Google Android, is looking for a somewhat general skillset, as this job posting for a Principal Engineer suggests:

We are looking for an Application Developer to work on new client applications and services for Motorola phones based on the Google Android platform. Main responsibilities will include programming in Java, designing and documenting feature implementation plans, and general troubleshooting.

"Java and Google Android programming experience" is listed as "highly desirable," but not required.

Given that many of Motorola's problems stem from product marketing - figuring out which handsets to build - and brand marketing - actually making consumers want to buy the handsets - this attempt may not be enough. Motorola's biggest problem isn't its technology platform: few prospective buyers care what software the phone is running. Motorola may be making a big bet on a platform that won't materially change its own inability of late to build compelling phones.

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