No, MOTOBLUR isn’t going anywhere for now, but Motorola has recently come out and said they will be pulling back on emphasizing their Android UI overlay. The custom skin for their Android handsets have been an eye sore for some time now to some of Android fans, and it seems Motorola has heard those complaints.
The heavy social-networking focused custom UI may slowly start to take a back seat, and new handsets may start coming with stock Android, according to Motorola. I welcome this on all fronts, as it’s almost impossible to find a decent stock Android handset these days. The only way you can get the Nexus One these days is if you’re a developer, and the original Motorola Droid is starting to look a bit aged, Froyo on board or not.
Motorola’s CEO, Sanjay Jha, had this to say about their stance on their custom Android UI,
With MOTOBLUR, we have found that being able to convey the value proposition around MOTOBLUR is not an easy thing to do in a 30-second ad spot. We have decided that we will focus on the value proposition of products and not MOTOBLUR as a brand name in its own right. MOTOBLUR continues to be important and I think you will see increased functionality in MOTOBLUR. This notion of push-Internet is going to be very important to us, but as a brand name, which we make matter in front of consumers as a brand name, I don’t think that’s going to be our focus going forward, but we see the experiences that we deliver is being relevant and differentiating us.”
So it looks like elements of the UI will remain, but who knows if how long they’ll stick around. The MOTOBLUR skin was scaled down and refined quite a bit with the Motorola Droid X, and the upcoming Motorola Droid 2, and the result has been a more enjoyable and usable Android experience. Seeing as how Android already supports many of the customizations that Motorola adds in the MOTOBLUR UI, I find it hard to believe someone is consciously seeking out a phone with the custom skin on it. In other words, MOTOBLUR will likely not be missed if it eventually goes out the door all together.
As AndroidAndMe points out, Motorola worked closely with Google when they launched the Droid, and they may be doing this now with Android 3.0, otherwise known as Gingerbread. It may be an open-sourced OS, but I’d still like to have at least one device show what their vision of Gingerbread will be, and not have some custom skin running on top of it.
Will any of you readers miss the MOTOBLUR UI when it’s gone, if it does eventually get removed from Motorola’s handsets?