Motorola kills off Webtop: no more mobile-powered laptops

Motorola will stop supporting Webtop, its software that allowed your mobile to power a laptop.

Motorola has confirmed it's killed off its Webtop software and range of mobile accessories, CNET reports . Webtop had let you use your phone as the guts of a laptop or TV entertainment hub, just by plugging it in.

It made its debut with the Motorola Atrix in 2011 and stood out at the time as a really innovative concept. It supported a laptop doc that was effectively the shell of a notebook that you plugged your Atrix phone into, so you could use it as a computer. But sales proved disappointing.

Motorola, owned by Google, said adoption wasn't strong enough to justify devoting more resources to the project. That's company speak for pulling the plug due to weak sales. It added that Webtop would be increasingly redundant as Android begins to include more features you'd usually find in a desktop OS.

"Motorola's Webtop app helps users extend their smart phone experience to larger screens," Motorola said in a statement. "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 desktop-like 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."

Webtop-enabled handsets and accessories proved prohibitively pricey, which dampened the early enthusiasm. The first version of the software was slow and buggy too, though Motorola did improve it later.

This is the latest Motorola cost Google has cut since taking over the company . It's already incurred a $340 million (£210 million) bill for severance packages and other fees. Google is refocussing Motorola's business model on core principles, which will mean job losses from its operations worldwide.

Are you going to miss Webtop? What do you think of Motorola since Google took over? Let me know in the comments or on our Facebook page.

About the author

    Joe has been writing about consumer tech for nearly seven years now, but his liking for all things shiny goes back to the Gameboy he received aged eight (and that he still plays on at family gatherings, much to the annoyance of his parents). His pride and joy is an Infocus projector, whose 80-inch picture elevates movie nights to a whole new level.


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