Lots of talk today about Google's surprise decision to buy Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion
. The deal is leaving some people scratching their heads, because it seems like a business that Google had always stayed out of, preferring to provide the tools (Android) for others to go and do things. But I'm betting a big part of this deal is because of Motorola's patents. You have to think that a big chunk of mobile device and mobile OS-related patents are likely included in the deal, and it gives Google something else to use in response to the Nortel patents going elsewhere. Of course, it may cause some other problems, as Motorola Mobility competitors, who also work with Google, start wondering if they should keep using Google as a partner. It also makes you wonder what Google will really do with Motorola Mobility. It would be nice
to see a Google-like approach from the hardware side, but I just don't see that as likely. My guess is that the hardware side will fizzle, but Google will still be happy it has the patents.