Poor sales have driven Motorola Mobility to whack the Webtop, its attempt to make Android into an all-in-one operating system for both smartphones and traditional PCs.
Motorola confirmed the death to CNET before issuing a widely circulated statement. Webtop allowed users to plug their Motorola device into a special laptop dock, which could then display Web pages and files on a full screen. Supported devices included the Motorola Atrix 2, which launched with Android 2.3 (“Gingerbread”) and a dual-core 1GHz processor.
“Motorola’s Webtop app helps users extend their smartphone experience to larger screens,” the company wrote in that aforementioned statement. “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.”
Android was at least partially responsible for Webtop’s demise, Motorola added: “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.”
For those few who bought a Webtop and now need something to do with it, Liliputing posted an article earlier this year about using the device to transform Raspberry Pi into a laptop (with the aid of some key accessories). Raspberry Pi’s homebrew computer features a 700MHz processor capable of overclocking to 1GHz and 256MB of RAM, as well as an SD card for longer storage—specs that lag those of the latest smartphones, but Raspberry Pi has the virtue of being quite a bit cheaper at $35.
“The Lapdock might be one of the cheapest solutions for turning the Raspberry Pi into a fully functional computer,” read the Liliputing piece. “You can find more details and further discussion about using the Lapdock as a Raspberry Pi laptop at the Raspberry Pi forums.”
Motorola is owned by Google, which is pushing its Chrome OS for laptops and desktops in addition to Android for smartphones. The majority of Chrome OS functions, including Gmail and Google Docs, reside primarily in the cloud; however, later versions of the software have integrated more offline functionality into the interface.