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Intel says will find new MeeGo partners

LONDON, Feb 17 (Reuters) – 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  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 switch.

“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  Nokia.

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.

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.”