Motorola, the US-based mobile phone and electronics group, will on Monday launch an initiative, dubbed Motodev, designed to make it easier and more rewarding for software developers to innovate with Motorola, its products and technologies.

Motodev will pull together Motorola’s three existing software developer programmes – Motocoder, which has more than 200,000 members, iDen and Horizon – into a single web-based developers’ forum.

It is part of the strategy set out by Ed Zander, Motorola’s chief executive, to enhance and expand the software content associated with the company’s products, including its mobile phones and wireless communicators such as the recently unveiled “Q”, designed to compete with Research in Motion’s BlackBerry.

The move reflects the growing recognition that the software component of hardware-based devices, including mobile phones, set-top boxes and other products, is increasingly important in delivering use and value to customers.

Other hardware vendors – including Sun MicroSystems, where Mr Zander was president until he left to join Motorola two years ago – have also shifted their emphasis to software and invested heavily in building and supporting third-party software developers as part of this switch.

Motodev is intended to provide developers with easy access to Motorola’s full product portfolio. The company believes this co-ordinated approach will help foster innovation in application development by providing developers with the resources they need including software development tools.

“Compelling user experiences are what win in today’s marketplace and innovative software is the key,” said Mr Zander.

“With Motodev, Motorola is creating a clear path to innovation for developers and our key partners. By leveraging company-wide technical and business assets, Motorola is creating new opportunities for unparalleled creativity and return on investment.”

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