Nokia-Microsoft deal caused Intel CEO to curse

The deal between Nokia and Microsoft was so mind-boggling that Intel CEO Paul Otellini could only use profanity to express his feelings about it, he said in a speech at this week’s Mobile World Congress.

Otellini said that Nokia CEO Stephen Elop had called him to talk about the decision to start using Windows Phone 7 software on future Nokia phones. Otellini said he responded with a word that Yahoo chief Carol Bartz “has often used,” referring to the high-powered exec’s reputation for using foul language.

The comments were part of a panel to discuss mobile technology, but the Nokia news is bleeding through the entire trade show so it was a large topic of conversation at this event as well.

“I understood why they did it. I guess if I was in his position I would have made the same or a similar call,” said Otellini.

He thren brought it home, saying the mobile phone industry is experiencing a similar revolution to what happened in the early days of mass market PC adoption.

“You’re seeing the last fully integrated phone manufacturer become more horizontal, exactly what we saw in the PC model where people focus on what they’re good at: chips or software or distribution,” he said.

Nokia still sits at the top in terms of total mobile phone market share in the world. But that’s only because it sells millions and millions of phones to under-developed parts of the world where a cheap “feature phone” is regarded as the most important piece of technology.

Its own operating system Symbian, which had been the exclusive software for every Nokia phone, was always above everyone else. Until recently. Android has overthrown Symbian on a worldwide basis, and was the likely catalyst for Nokia deciding to make such a radical change.