Android Central

Motorola has confirmed that it will no longer be pursuing its webtop program in the future. Famously announced to much fanfare with the Motorola Atrix, the laptop dock is going away. Starting with its latest release of devices -- the Photon Q, Droid RAZR HD, etc. -- webtop will no longer be preloaded and laptop dock devices will no longer be for sale. In an official statement, Motorola laid out the news:

"Motorola's Webtop app helps users extend their smartphone experience to larger screens. 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 desktoplike 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."

This probably doesn't come as a surprise to many of us who have either completely forgotten that webtop existed (we wouldn't blame you) or saw with the high prices and anemic sales that the future wasn't bright for the product. Most importantly, this really symbolizes the end of an era for Motorola. Webtop may have been one of the biggest things left that symbolized the Motorola of the past. As if Google and Motorola's statements prior to its latest device launches weren't clear enough, it seems as though we're looking at a "new Motorola" going forward.

Source: CNET

 
There are 18 comments

jjrudey says:

Laptop docks will be more useful once Ubuntu for Android comes around. But even then, I probably wouldn't buy one.

hoosiercub says:

When Ubuntu for Android finally makes a large, open, community appearance, you won't need a dock parsay, just USB/OTG/MHL cable/adaptor, or just the MHL with BT Keyboard/Mouse.. and the monitor obviously. Just a dock would be helpful, run an HDMI into my desktop monitor from my tablet or phone and have a BT mouse/keyboard ready for use with the docking.

dorelse says:

Its not unexpected. I love having my Atrix lapdock (modded for my Photon)...but $50 was all I was willing to pay for it...their original pricing never allowed the product to get the widespread adoption it needed.

doz says:

And that was another part of the problem, yes you could mod it to work with others, but Motorola should have just put out a universal one.

dorelse says:

ArgonNJ#CB says:

Lesson learned, if you don't have a Verizon RAZR model, you aren't getting any updates. Those models gets the best hardware and are the only ones Motorola cares about. The second rate crap the other carriers get are not important to them.

Jotokun says:

The problem here is, when the Atrix and Photon were released, they were NOT second rate crap. They had very competitive specs. But you are right on how they only care about their Verizon models.

mwara244 says:

The Sprint Photon is identical to the Vzw Bionic. There are other phones out with less specs than those two devices that have ICS on it. I don't think Moto can handle updating ICS to all the phones because the software in each phone is a little bit different in all their phones and they don't want to waste creating an individual software update for every single device.
Also if the carrier doesn't want to waste money buying the update and paying for testing, it would still be useless too. VZW for example has a list for NOT updating phones, from unpopular, or didn't sell a lot and so on. Even if there is an update vzw doesn't have to buy it, and they have to purchase the updates for the phones from the oem's.

Jotokun says:

No biggie, a Linux chroot, a good vnc client, a bluetooth keyboard and mouse and an HDMI cable should cover you.

That said, this smells like its their excuse to cut off support for every webtop enabled device *cough*Atrix/Photon*cough*. Which is pretty low.

Wayne173 says:

Yeah.....i agree. Low blow. First lock the phones down then say oh by the way.....we'll stop supporting webtop because we screwed you hard o take our $100 and buy a JB/ICS phone you cry babies.

Derek_B says:

Or... I turn down the $100 (only applies to a new Motorola phone, anyway,) and go buy a Galaxy Nexus so that I don't have to go through this crap ever again (which I've now done.)

Aren't lapdocks/webtop technically two different things? All the lapdock is is a usb cable with an external battery/keyboard/trackpad and an 720p (or 1080i) hdmi connection. You could easily add the drivers to Jellybean so that when a phone is plugged in it is able to recognize the lapdocks trackpad, keyboard and output the correct resolution over the HDMI connection. Having used an asus transformer, the newer versions of android actually have pretty good mouse/trackpad support. There is already a citrix client for android so you shouldn't lose any functionality. I doubt motorola will do this, but honestly it seems like something that could be whipped up in a weekend or two.

hmmm says:

Half the price and the sales would have increased by more than twice I bet.

M3wThr33 says:

I got one for $80 and modded it for my wife's Photon. It was super slim, CHARGED the phone and was magnificent. Too bad. The only real flaw is that it was a SUPER outdated version of Firefox.

Motorola is a pretty terrible company lately.

mtmerrick says:

The latest version of webtop ditched the shitty linux OS and simply gave you the android tablet interface when connected to an external monitor, using the phone as a touchpad. it is wonderful and i really hope its not being killed off, just rolled into the AOSP.

tyson.clarke says:

Sad :( I hope Motorola doesn't nix the standard micro HDMI.

I spose though, it does conflict with a couple of google products. Namely the Nexus Q (When it finally gets mirror mode), and the chromebox/book.

Given the seamless integration of Chrome with other devices, and complete reliance (almost) on the cloud- having this kind of hardware isn't really necessary. Especially when the business has been running at a loss for the last 17 quarters.

sisko says:

And yet another reason why I am glad I ended my support of my Atrix 4G for my brand new Galaxy S III.

Motorola, you conned us into buying the Atrix 4G and all of its incredible accessories, you dropped support (unofficially) of the Atrix 4G 8 months later when you announce the (inferior) Atrix 2, and you dropped support (officially) of the Atrix 4G with the announcement of no ICS. For all that, I say :-P

There are 2 or 3 things that my Atrix had/could do that my Galaxy S III can't that I miss, but no regrets.

terrrrrible says:

As an early adopter of the Atrix and the webtop dock, I'm both pissed and glad I got out of there when I did. Bought the phone / dock day one, so I dropped the cash on it. I really liked it, it was good for the few trips I was going on at the time, and when I didn't have access to a computer or my laptop. Of course, with all the reports from HTC coming out, I'm not feeling like I jumped to the right ship. Next phone will probably be whatever Nexus phone is out and hopefully that won't bomb out.