MWC 2011: Google's chief Eric Schmidt slams Nokia over Microsoft deal, fails to rule out Twitter buyout

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Google’s outgoing chief executive Eric Schmidt used his keynote speech in Barcelona to have a dig at Nokia after being snubbed by the Finnish mobile giant in favour of a partnership with Microsoft.

During the talk, Schmidt revealed that Google had held “extensive” discussions with the firm about using its Android operating system, before Nokia announced it would opt for Windows Phone 7 instead.

“We would’ve loved if they would have chosen Android; they chose the other guys,” Schmidt said. “I think we were pretty straightforward. We would like them to adopt Android at some point in the future; that offer remains open.” “We think Android was a good choice for Nokia, and we’re sorry they made a different choice,” he added. Nokia plans to begin shipping Windows Phone 7 handsets this year but is unlikely to shift large volumes of Microsoft powered smartphones until 2012.

During an intriguing question and answer session, Schmidt batted away questions over Facebook and whether it was encroaching on Google’s business.

Schmidt said that Google still looked upon Microsoft as its biggest competitor and that Facebook was “additive”, with no evidence suggesting that the social network was cutting into his firm’s ad revenue.

When asked if there were any truth to the rumours that Google and Facebook were looking into buying Twitter, Schmidt responded by saying simply, “We love Twitter, and I love to tweet.”

KevinLynch