Intel 'will find' other vendors to support MeeGo

Intel CEO Paul Otellini said Nokia (NYSE:NOK) received an "incredible" amount of money from Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) to make Windows Phone 7 its preferred smartphone platform--but, Otellini said, Nokia's decision won't stop Intel from continuing its support of MeeGo. Indeed, according to a Reuters report, Otellini said Intel will work to find other vendors to build MeeGo devices.

"We will find another partner (for MeeGo)," Otellini said, according to a Reuters report of the CEO's meeting with analysts in London. "The carriers still want a third ecosystem and the carriers want an open ecosystem, and that's the thing that drives our motivation."

MeeGo was created at last year's Mobile World Congress as the Linux combination of Nokia's Maemo and Intel's Moblin platforms. Nokia had planned to use MeeGo for its high-end smartphones until newly installed CEO Stephen Elop decided to change course and partner with Microsoft, a deal announced late last week. Elop said Nokia will use Windows Phone as its primary smartphone platform, but will retain MeeGo as a long-term initiative focused on "next-generation devices, platforms and user experiences." Nokia said it will ship one MeeGo device in 2011--but didn't provide additional plans for the platform.

It's unclear whether Intel will be able to generate support for MeeGo following Nokia's announcement. No major vendors disclosed plans to use the platform when Nokia had planned to use it as its primary high-end smartphone platform, and now that Nokia has changed course, MeeGo likely will carry less weight with carriers and developers.

Otellini said Elop's decision for Windows Phone was primarily a financial one. "I wouldn't have made the decision he made, I would probably have gone to Android if I were him," he said, according to Reuters. "MeeGo would have been the best strategy but he concluded he couldn't afford it."

Otellini added that it will be difficult for Nokia to modify Microsoft's Windows Phone platform to separate its products from those of other Windows licensees. "It would have been less hard on Android, on MeeGo he could have done it," Otellini said.

Not surprisingly, Nokia's Elop has framed the issue in a much different light. "If we had made the decision to swing in the direction of Android, it would have delivered substantial market share, and would have tilted the mobile ecosystem in that direction," Elop said during this week's Mobile World Congress trade show. "By partnering with Windows Phone 7, we've established a very different dynamic, and created an environment where Windows Phone 7 is a challenger. We've created a three-horse race."

And it appears Nokia isn't the only vendor to jump onto Windows Phone following the platform's launch late last year. Acer, which launched a smartphone play at the 2009 Mobile World Congress trade show with Microsoft's previous Windows Mobile platform, is planning to offer Windows Phone 7 devices in the fall, according to Pocket-lint. Acer currently offers a range of Android phones.

Nokia and Acer join Samsung, LG and Dell in the Windows Phone game.

For more:
- see this Pocket-lint article
- see this Reuters article

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