You would think a company as big as Motorola would be able to put out a cell phone update that wasn’t so flawed it was unusable. But they have done it again. The latest KitKat for the Droid RAZR M (XT907) is the buggiest version they released yet.

So why is Motorola so bad at getting it right?

I used to be part of their “soak test” group who would preview new versions about to be released. I did that for two releases and then quit. The reason I quit was that it was a waste of my time. I would generally make a list of say 20 or so bugs I found – many of them very serious bugs – and other people would report bugs – and none would get fixed before being released. Not only that but often these bugs weren’t fixed in the next release either.

As far as I can tell the only reason for the soak test is so Motorola can say they did testing before the release. ?But part of testing is actually fixing the bugs reported to you.

At a minimum soak testing should involve at least 2 releases. An initial release and then a second release with at least the most serious and easily fixable bugs repaired. No one thinks that software is going to be perfect but it seems to me that it’s a lot less expensive to put in a little more effort up front than to have to pay tech support people to deal with all the issues not fixed before the release.

 The bugs in the KitKat 4.4.2 release are too numerous to list here. Maybe Motorola should just outsource development to Cyanogenmod to make it work for them. They are real close to having KitKat 4.4.4 ready.

BTW – if anyone has a Droid RAZR M that they can give away one of the developers at Cyanogenmod (DHacker29) needs one for testing. Email me at if you have one to donate to the cause.

  1. deowll says:

    Failure to fix bugs is an effective way to kill a company. Motorola is one of the classic old name companies but all companies die eventually due to management issues if nothing else.

  2. MikeN says:

    HTC does it the easy way, and just doesn’t give you any updates. Try to find an update for the HTC Aria on their site. They have disappeared the phone like it’s the Soviet Union.

  3. Tim says:

    just stop taking squirrel pictures while the little progress bug is still spinning.

  4. noname says:

    Yo!, Motorola is doing it business right!

    It may takes less time to do it Right, than investigate, troubleshoot, debug and explain why you did it wrong; but, that’s not the point.

    In the business of consulting, business schools and other advice givers; it’s best to act on timely bad decision! Our 1st MBA lived by that edict and invaded IRAQ, knowing it may be wrong; but, it’s right because he did it earnestly (Just ask Dick Cheney)!

  5. There was an old joke retold in many ways concerning Microsoft and their buggy products
    Fellow at the gates of St. Peter asks to see the alternative – down below as heaven looks mundane
    Well it seems that its better than spring break at Cancun
    No sooner does the victim sign up that its one big disaster
    He demands from the devil “what is going on here … 5 minutes ago… and now this”
    The answer was “That was the Microsoft demo”
    It seems that as consumers that we are little more than guinea pigs doing the field testing after paying out substantial money for said product
    Little changes it seems but the names and trade marks of the sellers and providers

    • reader says:

      “Applications are the only reason to have an Internet; without them,
      who would care? At the same time, the Internet was not designed
      for security — and may I say “Thank God” for that. If the Internet
      had been designed for security, we wouldn’t be here not because the
      problem of application security would have been solved at the outset
      but because the innovation would not have come. The Internet was
      designed for resistance to random faults, and that design worked.” geer.owasp.4iv12.txt

      To make an application like email not work on a network designed for resistance to random faults takes some doing. I am using Outset but keep using Outlook. Just look out though.

      • reader says:

        Because the Internet was not designed for security, all the Snowden charges that the NSA is acting to compromise Internet security are bullshit! He told them to use Truecrypt, that turns out not to be secure. Mor on this later. The Russians can have him, they deserve each other. They are trained spies?

  6. sargasso_c says:

    I predict this is the end for Moto. Which was only bought for it’s patent portfolio.

  7. Disgruntled says:

    WOW! An actual tech story on DVORAK! Imagine that.

    (What’s the matter? Burned out on money, politics and religion?)

  8. noname says:

    Savor it and promote the rare good dead, don’t bash it. You might scare them off.

  9. reader says:
    If it doesn’t work under water///you can survive without it.

  10. reader says:

    My complaint about Motorola

    Why doesn’t Motorola try doing something constructive for once in its history? Why is it that 99 times out of 100, Motorola behaves like an eternal student at a vast, fastidious campus where everyone is taught that Motorola has a duty to conceal the facts and lie to the rest of us, under oath if necessary, perjuring itself to help disseminate the True Faith of incendiarism? And is it possible for those who defend inhumane, closed-minded neopaganism to make their defense look more delirious than it currently is? This letter is not the place to explore the answers to those questions. Its purpose is instead to give you some background information about Motorola. Wait! Before you dismiss me as crass, hear me out.

    Considering the corruption and foolishness that characterize ill-tempered bludgers, this makes me fearful that I might someday find myself in the crosshairs of Motorola’s crazy précis. (To be honest, though, it wouldn’t be the first time.) I’m not afraid of Motorola. However, I am concerned that it sees the world as somewhat anarchic, a game of catch-as-catch-can in which the sneakiest peculators nab the biggest prizes. I deeply believe that it’s within our grasp to throw off Motorola’s yoke of frotteurism. Be grateful for this first and last tidbit of comforting news. The rest of this letter will center around the way that too many petulant menaces out there are looking for the quick and easy fix, for a great savior who will make it all right again so they can go back to sleep. They gather at the foot of the mount to herald the coming of Motorola and neglect to notice that Motorola uses the word “pathologicopsychological” without ever having taken the time to look it up in the dictionary. Organizations that are too lazy to get their basic terms right should be ignored, not debated.

    Although Motorola markets itself as a high-concept, change-the-world do-gooder, when it comes to its double standards, I warrant that we have drifted along for too long in a state of blissful denial and outright complacency. It’s time to reveal the constant tension between centripetal and centrifugal forces of dialogized heteroglossia resulting from Motorola’s conjectures. The sooner we do that the better because it has remarked that the kids on the playground are happy to surrender to the school bully. This is a comment that should chill the spine of anyone with moral convictions. To make sure you understand I’ll spell it out for you. For starters, Motorola doesn’t want to acknowledge that failure to analyze the myopic—and what one can term only irritating—underpinnings of its ethics will steal the fruits of other people’s labor. In fact, Motorola would rather block all discussion on the subject. I suppose that’s because it’s good at one thing, and that’s keeping its ulterior motives secret. Only a few initiates in the inner sanctum of Motorola’s army of violent radicals know that it’s planning to devalue me as a person. Even fewer of these initiates know that Motorola once said that loathsome schmegeggies of one sort or another have dramatically lower incidences of cancer, heart attacks, heart disease, and many other illnesses than the rest of us. Its grunts and others capable of little more than rote psittacism are now saying that too. In contrast, I say that Motorola claims that the world is crying out to labor beneath its firm but benevolent heel. Well, I beg to differ. I would like to close by saying that Motorola uses its victim status as a kind of magic incantation to stifle debate, disparage critical analysis, and persuade us that it’s merely trying to make this world a better place in which to live.

  11. steelcobra says:

    Here’s the real question: Since Motorola is owned by Google, why the hell can’t they release anything right?

  12. reader says:

    The updates aren’t secure and the email isn’t secure. It’s on the Internet and not designed for security.

    “Summing up what I have said so far, data is where the value is,
    winners have the most data in motion whereas losers have too much,
    applications are the skin on the data — some more erotic than
    others, the Internet’s existence gives applications their universality
    and some applications their raison d’etre, the end-to-end principle
    is about trust placement, trust is not for sissies, and the central
    discipline of secure design is that of choosing what failure modes
    you are prepared to tolerate.” geer.owasp.4iv12.txt

    This update sounds like changing a tire at 50 mph. Something is gonna fail.

  13. reader says:

    Gambler’s Roll 6:44 8. True Gravity 7:58 9. It Ain’t over Yet 4:54
    I’m still using TrueGravity and tapes. TrueCrypt failed. It wasn’t secure. Gee wonder why.

  14. reader says:

    Ain’t that low down, low down dirty mean The way you’ve been treatin’ me, Beats all I’ve ever seen. I loaned you my brand new car, Said you was goin’ for a Sunday drive,

    All they’re good for is running you broke and driving you nuts. Send them checks to get lost and stay that way. At least the phone is smart…


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