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Google completes Motorola buy, installs own man at the top

Google's completed its buyout of Motorola Mobility, meaning the search giant is now officially a hardware company.

Google's finally sealed the deal on its bid to buy Motorola Mobility, meaning that the search giant now officially owns the smart phone-spawning company.

Google boss Larry Page broke the news on Google's blog, confirming that the $12.5bn (£7.9bn) buyout is finished at last. Page's first action has been to install "long-time Googler" Dennis Woodside as Motorola Mobility's new chief, with previous CEO Sanjay Jha stepping down.

Google was given the nod to proceed from Chinese regulators over the weekend. The deal means that Google -- which deals primarily in software -- now has a hardware department.

It's thought that Google's aim in buying the company was to take ownership of Motorola's slew of valuable patents, giving Google legal ammunition in its fight to defend Android from the likes of Apple and Microsoft.

Despite having been invested in Android for a long time, and despite the impending Google purchase, Motorola's recent tech has been more than a little lacklustre.

The Xoom was the first Honeycomb tablet on the scene, but proved too bulky to compete with the iPad. The recent Motorola Razr arrived running an out-of-date version of Android, as did the Xoom 2 and its Media Edition brother.

A condition of the purchase was that Android stay free for the next five years, so don't expect other manufacturers to stop making Android-powered mobiles any time soon. Perhaps now though we'll see Motorola using its relationship with Google to produce some really compelling smart phones.

A Google tablet is rumoured to be in the works -- Asus is said to be building it, however, rather than Motorola. It's reportedly going to cost around £125, have a 7-inch display and launch in July.

How can Google make use of Motorola? Let me know in the comments or on our Facebook wall.