Google (News - Alert) CEO Eric Schmidt on Tuesday confirmed that the Internet giant made a strong push to convince Nokia to adopt its Android (News - Alert) operating system, and expressed disappointment with the fact that the Finnish company went with Microsoft instead.
Schmidt's comments were made during the his keynote address at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, just a few days after Nokia announced that it is scrapping its hallmark Symbian operating system for Microsoft's Windows Phone (News - Alert) 7 OS.
"We would've loved if [Nokia] would have chosen Android; they chose the other guys, that other competitor, Microsoft," Schmidt said.
Google's CEO added that he thought Android was the best choice for Nokia, and would keep the offer on the table if the phone maker decides to change its mind.
Nokia CEO Stephen Elop, a former executive at Microsoft, said that he decided against going with Android, in part, because it would most likely create a duopoly, where Apple (News - Alert) and Android would rule the mobile device space, according to Computer World.
Even while losing out on a blockbuster deal with Nokia, Schmidt was very high on the future of Android, and dismissed accusations that the OS is becoming fragmented. He said that with more than 300,000 Android-based devices are being activated on a daily basis, Google's OS is "the fastest-growing mobile platform in the world."
As for the issue of fragmentation, Schmidt doesn't see it being a major concern. He said that Google has agreements in place that require phone and tablet manufacturers to support specific APIs, which Schmidt said gives all Android devices a similar feel.
Some industry leaders, including longtime Apple CEO Steve Jobs (News - Alert), have criticized Android for its fragmented nature. Android is easily customizable and is spread out among a number of different versions.
A recent Android Developers report found that less than one half of one percent of Android handsets are running Gingerbread 2.3, Google's most recent iteration of its mobile operating system.
Meanwhile, 51.8 percent of Android phones are equipped with version 2.2, also known as Froyo, while 35.2 percent are loaded with Android 2.1. Astonishingly, nearly 13 percent of handsets are still running versions 1.6 and 1.5, two of Android's older operating systems.
Beecher Tuttle is a TMCnet contributor. He has extensive experience writing and editing for print publications and online news websites. He has specialized in a variety of industries, including health care technology, politics and education. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.
Edited by Janice McDuffee