Report: Motorola Kills Webtop Technology and Lapdock Accessory

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Motorola's Webtop technology is an interesting idea that just never seemed to fully work out all its kinks. Now, it might never have a chance to: PhoneNews reports that Motorola plans to kill both Webtop and the Lapdock accessory in the coming weeks at Google's behest. PhoneNews' sources corroborate an Ubergizmo report from earlier this week that claimed the Lapdock 100 was discontinued and on sale for just $50 at Verizon stores.

Motorola's Webtop technology allowed certain powerful smartphones to act as the brains of a computer; when you connected the phones to the Lapdock accessory, the combination functioned as a working laptop. Early versions ran a neutered form of Linux, while Webtop 3.0 introduced the ability to run full-screen Android apps.

The news isn't entirely surprising: many of Motorola's newer phones lacked Webtop capabilities, including the Atrix HD and the recently updated Razr lineup. Also, Webtop idea competes with the Chrome OS and its default browser was Firefox, not Chrome -- two factors that wouldn't win the technology any fans on the Google campus.

While Motorola may have thrown in the towel on using a smartphone to power a PC, the makers of the popular (for Linux) Ubuntu distribution are working hard to create a similar system. Ubuntu for Android takes advantage of the two operating system's shared open-source background to let your phone work normally during everyday use, but double as a fully working Ubuntu desktop when hooked up to a docking station. The software's there, but there's one major problem: the hardware itself isn't actually available yet.

Via GottaBeMobile


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  • TechJunkie69 Says:

    Never expect Verizon sale staff to know anything about what they are selling. When I was with Verizon (as a customer), it annoyed me just how little they knew about what they were selling. I would always tell them not to bother me and that I would look for myself. Eventually I just went with AT&T because the smaller shop by me actually had knowledgeable people. As for webtop, it's a shame Google is killing it. With webtop 3 it basically becomes like the ASUS Transformer minus the touchscreen.

  • Steve Lloyd Says:

    I feel victimized, deceived, mislead, and frustrated. I walked into Verizon 3 months ago to renew my 2 year agreement and switch from Blackberry to the Android platform. Based upon my business needs, the Motorola Droid Razr Maxx was the perfect choice. Coming from Blackberry, I wasn't up to speed regarding Gingerbread, Ice Cream, and all of the other Android flavors.

    There in the store I saw a functional Lapdock 100 on display. I quickly learned about the Lapdock 500 with the larger 14" screen and all of the other added benefits. ICS was only 2 weeks away, which included the update on Webtop from 2.0 to 3.0. No in store discussion of discontinuance of Firefox or other advertised capabilities. Certainly someone in the Verizon store should have been aware of the coming changes.

    I left that store but shortly thereafter purchased the Razr Maxx. About a month later (post ICS/3.0 rollout), I got the Laptop 500 Pro. I bought it because it suited my business needs.

    With some very limited issues, the combination of the two devices have pretty much done exactly what I need for my business, not withstanding that I never received some of the benefits shown in the store and that continued to be advertised on Verizon's and Motorola's websites, at least until very recently. So now, 3 months after walking into Verizon and ending up buying their partner's products, I am now learning that I may have purchased an expensive boat anchor?

    Buying a product with only a three month EOL span has not made me particularly happy. I have read about all of the frustrations on the part of folks that bought the lapdocks prior to the 3.0 release have had in going from Webtop 2.0 to 3.0. Now I'll have to join their ranks in protest when it goes from 3.0 to zero, which is where any further support on my part will be for Google/Moto products in the future. I should have been forewarned in June, the day I stepped foot into Verizon.

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