Motorola/Google: It's All About Unified Communications
Among the 20,000 or so awarded or pending patents Google will get from Motorola in the deal announced yesterday, there are many that focus on unified communications and collaboration.
Well, that's overstating it a bit. Indeed, the coverage of the $12.5 billion deal didn't make any mention — at least that I saw — of unified communications. Instead, analysts focused on what the ownership of a phone maker by Google will mean to Android's acceptance by Samsung, HTC, LG and other users of the mobile operating system.
Another thread of the coverage is that Google was willing to risk the ire of those handset makers because it wanted to get its hands on the treasure trove of patents owned by Motorola. There are, between awarded patents and patents pending, as many as 20,000, according to This is my next.
That's where unified communications comes in. The bottom line is that a good number of those patents relate to unified communications and related operations and applications.
Last week, I had the opportunity to interview Constellation Research's Elizabeth Herrell. The executive briefing over at IT Business Edge grew out of a blog she had written advising IT departments and the companies for which they work to customize communications tools for Generation Y workers (who also are called "Millennials"). These folks, Herrell wrote in her post and said to me, expect the kind of real-time platforms that they used in their college dorm and their parents' houses (where, indeed, many probably still live).
These are the folks that Google and the others especially want to capture. The tools they are developing — and, again, where a lot of the patents not doubt are aimed — focus on unified communications and collaboration. The logical conclusion: Anyway you spin it, the Google/Motorola Mobility deal is to a great extent about unified communications.