Did Motorola just buy its own OS?

There’s some interesting news out of old Motorola, as it just acquired Azingo, which produces its own Linux-based operating system. Does this mean Motorola is preparing to ditch Android in favor of its own solution?

The news, which came about via some LinkedIn sleuthing, probably doesn’t mean Motorola will be done with that little green robot any time soon. Let’s face it, before the massive success of the Droid, Motorola was in the crapper. The company had failed to innovate since the Razr days and the handset division was so much of a drain on the bottom line that it is scheduled to be spun off as an independent company.

The Droid and, to a lesser extent, the BackFlip and Cliq have helped the handset division come close to respectability. While it gets the benefits of the Android ecosystem (apps, brand, etc.) it is still somewhat beholden to Google by relying on this. Azingo’s platform already has a Webkit-based browser, developer tools and apps, so it could be a way for Motorola to transition away from Google’s OS.

As pointed out by GigaOm, Motorola’s handset leader, Sanjay Jha, knows how important it is to have your own platform.

“I’ve always felt that owning your OS is important, provided you have an ecosystem, you have all the services and you have an ability and the scale to execute on keeping that OS at the leading edge,” Jha said during the company’s first-quarter earnings call. “And I continue to believe that at some point, if we have all those attribute, that owning our own OS will be an important thing.”

Still, I don’t see Motorola leaving Android. This acquisition could help Moto boost its own custom Blur UI on top of Android. It could also give the company a platform to throw on cheaper phones aimed at the emerging markets like India and China.

[Via Android and Me]

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