* CEO says Nokia made wrong decision on Microsoft tie-up
* Says decision was financially motivated
* Says will look for new MeeGo partners
* Dismisses ARM's prospects in servers
(Adds further comments on PC outlook, ARM competition)
By Paul Sandle
LONDON, Feb 17 Intel Corp (INTC.O) said its
partner Nokia dropped the MeeGo operating system after Microsoft
offered "incredible" amounts of money for the phonemaker to
switch to Windows but it would find new partners for MeeGo.
Intel's Chief Executive Paul Otellini said in a meeting with
analysts in London, accessed by Reuters via conference call,
that Nokia's NOK1V.HE choice of Microsoft (MSFT.O) over
Google's (GOOG.O) Android platform was a financial decision.
Otellini said Nokia's Chief Executive Stephen Elop received
"incredible offers -- money" from Google and Microsoft to
"I wouldn't have made the decision he made, I would probably
have gone to Android if I were him," he said. "MeeGo would have
been the best strategy but he concluded he couldn't afford it."
Microsoft was not immediately available for comment.
Google Chief Executive Eric Schmidt said at the Mobile World
Congress in Barcelona on Wednesday that he had held extensive
talks to try to woo Nokia. [ID:nLDE71F026]
Otellini said Nokia would find it hard to differentiate
using the Windows platform: "It would have been less hard on
Android, on MeeGo he could have done it."
"We will find another partner. The carriers still want a
third ecosystem and the carriers want an open ecosystem, and
that's the thing that drives our motivation," he said.
MeeGo was created last year by the merger of Nokia and
Intel's Linux-based platforms Maemo and Moblin. [ID:nLDE61E0Z2]
Otellini said in Barcelona that open systems had the edge
over closed systems: "Some closed models will certainly survive,
because you can optimise the experience, but in general, if you
harness the ability of all the engineers in the world and the
developers in the world, open wins." [ID:nLDE71F1II]
ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM
In his meeting with analysts on Thursday, Otellini tackled
head on what he said was the elephant in the room: the rise of
tablets at the expense of PCs.
"(The view that) 'PCs are dead and tablets are going to eat
our lunch and there's no growth in the PC market', let me just
say 'bunk' to that," he said.
Last year was one of the strongest growth years ever for PC
unit sales with a 17 percent rise, he said, and Intel forecasts
unit growth in the low double-digits again this year driven by
notebook sales in emerging markets.
Intel's chips, which generally have high power but are
energy hungry, have not yet found a use in mobile phones or
tablets, where manufacturers favour chip's designed by British
firm ARM ARM.L.
Otellini said one problem with the perceived Intel versus
ARM battle was that there was no ARM, in the sense that ARM's
chips were made by 1,200 licensees.
"There's no architecture consistency," he said. "It is a big
expensive, hard job to create persistence in your architecture
over multiple generations: that's what we do exceptionally
He also dismissed ARM's prospects in the server market. The
British company has said some of its chipmaker partners are
working on processors for servers, and products could be on the
market in five years. [ID:nLDE69421E]
"I don't see anytime soon ARM having the software
capability, the computer architecture, the transistor
performance to be able to become a factor in servers," Otellini
said. "AMD AMD.N is much more potent as a server competitor
than the ARM guys ever will be."
(Editing by Mark Potter and David Cowell)