Microsoft and Nokia shook up the mobile world with today's announcement of a strategic partnership that will see Windows Phone 7 adopted by Nokia as its platform going forward for high-end smartphones. Analysts are stepping up with thoughts on who the biggest winner is in this deal, but what strikes me is how Intel has just been thrown under the bus.
Intel has been floundering for years in its efforts to break into the mobile smartphone space, but with no luck. Its processors have been passed over by smartphone makers in favor of Qualcomm's Snapdragon and other ARM-based solutions. Nvidia is set to take a major role in the smartphone sector with its Tegra 2 processors, further pushing Intel to the back of the pack.
The Nokia/ Intel strategic partnership a while back to create the Meego smartphone platform was Intel's effort to partner with a handset maker, but more importantly to develop a platform that was optimized for Intel's mobile chips. The company was failing in efforts to get OEMs to adopt Intel chips, so it made sense to create a platform optimized for them. Intel executives must be in emergency meetings today trying to figure out where it goes from here given Nokia's ditching of the Meego platform.
Sure, Nokia says it will continue to work with Meego, but the writing is on the wall. The company will be using Windows Phone 7 on its flagship smartphones going forward, not Meego. That leaves Intel with millions of dollars worth of egg on its collective faces.
The smartphone space may now be "a three horse race", but with its chipsets missing from all of the player's handsets Intel is definitely the biggest loser in the Nokia/ Microsoft deal.
Image credit Intel