I didn’t see that coming, but it seems such a natural thing for Google and Motorola Mobility to have done.
Here’s why I think so:
1. Motorola probably has contributed more to Android than any other partner, other than Google itself.
2. The Motorola patents. They reportedly have over 17000 patents, a huge number of them in personal communications I’ll assume. They’ll save Android.
3. Google has a lot of clout on the cloud with the PC. Apple is doing some pretty neat things with its interpretation of what the cloud should be. In the mobile communications space, it may actually be starting a small revolution. Google can now deeply integrate its services, such as Google+, into mobile devices. Like Apple is doing with Twitter. Google did not have to buy Motorola to do that but now they have more reason to do it.
4. Google can now walk the talk. It is one thing to create an OS, another to design it with deep integration between hardware, software, and now, cloud services. It means supporting customers and listening to them bicker, and evolving with it. It means having some clout over the evolution of hardware.
5. Google can positively influence Motorola on design.
6. It may have a positive effect on the bottom line of both companies.
The other thing that Google could have done was to spin off Android to Motorola Mobility for peanuts, but putting measures in place for Android to thrive as open source. That they decided to stick with Android means that they are betting their future on it. I, for one, am keen to see what that future will be.