When Nokia decided to partner-up with Microsoft to develop Windows Phone 7 smartphones, that meant the company would no longer be able to devote resources to some of its development efforts towards other smartphone operating systems. It had been developing MeeGo alongside Intel, which now has to rethink how it will continue to work on the open-source Linux-based OS in Nokia’s absence. Since the news broke, Intel CEO Paul Otellini has reportedly chimed in on the Nokia-Microsoft partnership, stating that going with Android instead of WP7 would have been a smarter move for Nokia. We’ve looked at the new partnership as a good thing for everyone involved, but does Otellini have a point?
Otellini thinks that Nokia’s decision was motivated by monetary incentives offered by Microsoft, incentives that wouldn’t be available would Nokia have decided to focus on Android development instead. That seems a little short-sighted, though, and we’d like to think that Nokia is planning to commit to developing phones for its OS of choice for years to come, not just focusing on the immediate future due to cash on the table.
Considering the lack of impact it’s made on the smartphone market, it’s easy to dismiss Intel’s statements as the bad attitude of the kid picked last for the team, but there is some truth to its position. If Nokia wanted to just make middle-of-the-road hardware, it could probably sell more handsets churning out Android models than WP7 devices. With Microsoft, though, there’s the opportunity to be a close hardware partner making innovative handsets that are at the forefront of the WP7 lineup. Time will ultimately tell if this new direction for Nokia works out, but our money is on it having made the right call.