Intel CEO to Nokia’s Elop: I would have gone Google

February 17, 2011, 6:43 PM UTC

Paul Otellini told a group of analysts last night that Nokia’s choice of Windows Phone 7 over Android  was simply a financial decision.

Otellini on left, happier times from GigaOm.

According to a Reuters report this morning, Paul Otellini isn’t too thrilled with Nokia’s (NOK) Windows Phone 7.  In fact he thinks that Nokia chose the wrong platform and that the decision was strictly a monetary one.

Clearly, Otellini would have preferred that Nokia continue to develop Meego with Intel who now must forge on alone with the mobile platform.  MeeGo was created last year by the merger of Nokia and Intel’s (INTC) Linux-based platforms Maemo and Moblin.

However, Intel’s CEO doesn’t think Nokia had the money/resources to continue developing Meego until it became a viable platform.  He also thinks it will be tough to differentiate on Windows Phone 7.  “It would have been less hard on Android, on MeeGo he could have done it,” he said.

Microsoft’s offer, which has been interpolated in complex financial rewards and is not a straight buy, was said to be in the billions, according to Elop. Otellini said Nokia’s Chief Executive Stephen Elop received “incredible offers — money” to go with Windows Phone 7.

There was also some overlap that might have caused some friction that could have prevented the merger with Google (GOOG).  Nokia’s biggest remaining software product, its Navteq maps, would have been brushed under the rug at Google, who has their own popular mapping software.  Microsoft is integrating Navteq into their Phone 7 OS.

I should note that Otelini isn’t a completely impartial judge on the matter.  Intel is partners with Google’s GoogleTV which runs on top of Android.  Otelini is also a board member of the Mountain View company.

Intel, for what it is worth, will continue to develop MeeGo on its own.  Reviews of early MeeGo products at MWC were mixed at best.

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