With the acquisition of Motorola now official, Google is about to embark on another interesting adventure. How will it do? And will the other makers of Droid-based phones be upset with Google?

According to Brad Stone and Peter Burrows, writing Business Week: “Motorola, founded 84 years ago, invented the cell phone in the 1980s, made it ubiquitous in the ’90s with the StarTAC, and with the RAZR ushered in the era of stylish devices. Then it lost its way in the age of the iPhone. When Google first came calling, it was mostly interested in getting Motorola’s trove of 17,000-plus patents to help defend the Android operating system against lawsuits by Oracle, Microsoft, Apple, and others.”

But now, Google “has become more ambitious and plans to use its new hardware division to produce smartphones and tablets that set the pace of innovation in the mobile business.” According to Google, “this is a huge opportunity to really show what Android can do in a well-designed, well-packaged, and well-marketed product.”

Yet, as Stone and Burrows note: “It’s also a huge gamble, certainly the biggest since Larry Page retook the title of CEO at Google a year ago. The company became a household name—and one of the most profitable businesses ever—by sticking to online services and software. Now it will have to figure out the cutthroat, low-margin world of hardware.

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