1src,  editorial

Adios, Motricity

I’ve posted this week’s 1SRC editorial; “Adios, Motricity.”

“After making a mess of one of the best mobile software portals, Motricity retreats to the west coast and dumps consumers for content and service providers.

Motrcity has decided to leave their direct to consumer businesses behind as they move to the west coast and engage in business with content providers, mobile operators, and businesses willing to contract with the company to deliver mobile “portals, storefronts, managed web and search,…[and] messaging gateway services”. (Read the press release)

In addition to ruining 2008 for the 250 employees who are getting laid off, Motricity decided that it would be a great idea to ruin the best online Palm software store, PalmGear.com, by rolling it up into the “revamped” PocketGear.com as a going away present. To add insult to injury, Motricity is looking to sell the PocketGear.com unit. I’m left wondering if it was even worth rolling the two sites together at all.

Looking back in hindsight, it makes perfect sense for Motricity to have consolidated their direct to consumer software online stores, PalmGear and PocketGear. Knowing that they were going to sell off the “non-profitable and non-core businesses”, rolling Palm and PocketGear into a single online store would make it more attractive to any company interested in buying the property. Unfortunately for whoever the new owner is, they will see that their work has been cut out for them. The repackaging of PocketGear.com has hurt the online retailer.

The roll up effort to migrate PalmGear.com into PockerGear wasn’t executed well. Much of the freeware and shareware applications had disappeared for some weeks. During that transition period, I was really turned off by entire user experience. In addition to not being able to find the software that I was looking for, as a Mac OS X user, I found the new site deign difficult to use. To this day, the drop down menus for device or mobile operating system selection still don’t work with FireFox 2.x. (During the transition, to Morticity’s credit, I never lost access to the software and registration codes I purchased from the PalmGear site.) Several months after the change over, the Palm OS software library is being represented on the site. Alexander Pruss’ FontSmoother is featured on the main page of the site. Great shareware applications like Tyler Faux’s LudusP are also once again available. And the popular freeware Palm OS file manager, FileZ, from NoSleep Software is available along with some 200+ freeware titles. However, are these efforts by Motricity to try and clean up PocketGear a bit too late?”

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