Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) CEO Steve Ballmer plans to continue charging handset makers an estimated $8 to $15 licensing fee for its Windows Mobile operating system despite increasing pressure from free offerings, including Linux, Google’s (NSDQ: GOOG) Android and Symbian, which Nokia (NYSE: NOK) bought and plans to open-source, Reuters reports. “We are doing well, we believe in the value of what we are doing,” Ballmer told Reuters. “It’s interesting to ask why would Google or Nokia, Google in particular, why would they invest a lot of money and try to do a really good job if they make no money. I think most operators and telecom companies are skeptical about Google.”
Google plans to make money by making it easy to integrate its services, such as gmail and Google Maps, which it can make money on through advertising revenue. Ballmer also questioned Nokia’s intentions. “In the case of Nokia – are they really open sourcing, or are they really making Symbian their own operating system? We have to wait and see.”
Ever since Ballmer addressed the industry at 3GSM a few years ago, Microsoft has said it will be a partner, and is not a threat in the space. If someone wants to use their operating system, but integrate Google search, or Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO) Instant Messenger, that’s fine. His message at the time was that Microsoft was in mobile to partner, not dominate, and it appears he is still trying to make that case.