Ballmer says Microsoft to continue licensing fees

Microsoft plans to continue charging licensing fees from handset makers for using its mobile operating system and not follow the free offerings of Google and Nokia.

A Reuters report quoted Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer saying 'we do,' when asked whether his firm would stick with licensing fees.

The pressure on Microsoft's high licensing fees has increased over 2008 with Google rolling out free Android technology and Nokia offering to buy out others from Symbian and also make its software royalty-free, the Reuters report said.

'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 sceptical about Google,' he said.

Google tries to promote web surfing on phones and the use of their services such as email and search so they make advertising revenue.

'Handset makers are sceptical of Nokia, operators are sceptical of Google, I think by actually charging money people know exactly what our motivations are,' Ballmer said.

He said there was no reason to expect Microsoft to enter the mobile phone making business, like some analysts foresee.