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So long Webtop? New Atrix HD does not support the LapDock or Webtop environment

July 13, 2012

Remember Webtop, the Linux-based environment that Motorola loaded on some of its devices? Launched at CES 2011, Webtop was one of the defining features of the Motorola Atrix. Customers could dock the Atrix into the LapDock, a laptop shell without the brains, and get a barebones laptop that supported a handful of desktop apps, such as Firefox.

In spite of tepid sales, Moto seems committed to Webtop – it integrated the environment in several other devices, including the Droid Razr, added new features, and tweaked the price, which went down from $500 to $350 and even less with special discounts. But, at least for the newly announced Atrix HD, it’s so long Webtop.

The third member of the Atrix series does not come with the Webtop environment, nor it supports any of the older docks. It appears that Motorola decided to dumb down the Atrix HD to fit the $99 price tag that the phone has on AT&T (it also comes with a locked and signed bootloader, by the way). According to a statement made to Phonescoop, Motorola “focused on the features that will deliver the greatest value for this device’s target audience”. In other words, the new Atrix HD breaks away with the high-end niche, and instead it’s targeted squarely at the budget-conscious crowd.

The Atrix HD fell victim to the whims of corporate heads, but where does that leave Webtop? Can we expect to see on new devices the environment that just a year ago was hailed as groundbreaking? Well, everyone agrees that convergence is the name of the game. On the other hand, Moto is now part of the Google family and the new overlords in Mountain View might have their own plans for convergence…