Palm and Motorola have taken very different paths to get where they are today; one began life as a scrappy Valley start-up founded by a tablet computing pioneer, the other traces its roots to all the way back to the early days of consumer electronics and the automotive industry. Yet somehow, through years (decades, even) of adventure, success, and misfortune, they've found themselves in exactly the same situation here in 2009: it's do-or-die time. Palm, of course, has elected to try its hand at resurrecting the very thing that took it to superstardom in the first place -- an elegant, tightly-controlled software platform of its own with hardware to match -- while Motorola has thrown virtually all of its remaining weight behind Android in the hope that it can catch a little mojo from Google's ecosystem.
For Motorola, it's the wireless equivalent of stepping up to the roulette table, putting what's left of your depleted life savings on red, and letting it ride just as you see security guards off in the distance coming to throw you -- penniless -- off the premises. It's a gamble of the highest order, but it's also a gamble Motorola's painfully aware that it needs to take. North America's only top-five handset manufacturer needs nothing less than magic (and a little luck) to earn its way back into the world's wireless elite -- and that risky play starts right here, today, with the CLIQ / DEXT.
So does the CLIQ pave the way to a New Motorola, or did the RAZR's checkered legacy ultimately dig a hole too deep to escape? Read on.