Sharp Zaurus all over again?

The IHT tells us that Motorola is joining forces with Vodafone, NTT, Matsushita, NEC and Samsung to develop Linux-based mobile phone operating systems.

We’ve had this in the mainstream once before, with Sharp’s wonderful Zaurus, but that company’s schizophrenia when it came to development of the platform, customer interaction and even availability of the devices, has pretty much restricted the Zaurus to persistent, wealthy nerds — first mover, meet last mover.

That was just one vendor though, not five vendors and two of the biggest operators in the world. Can they pull it off, or will it all end in nitpicking and nothing like so many times in the past? I won’t call this one, but I think you know which way I’d like it to go…