While Google doesn’t seem to have a problem with giving away a bunch of stuff for free — everything from Gmail to Google Docs doesn’t cost you a penny — the guys at Microsoft don’t quite feel the same way. The always quotable Steve Ballmer went on the record in saying that the company doesn’t feel particularly generous and it will not be making Windows Mobile a royalty-free platform any time soon. This is in sharp contrast to the $0 price tag on Google Android.
In Steve Ballmer’s own words, “Handset makers are skeptical of Nokia, operators are skeptical of Google, I think by actually charging money people know exactly what our motivations are.” Yup, Microsoft is motivated by money and really, I can’t blame them. They’re in the business of making money and not in the business of making friends necessarily.
It largely depends on volume and the relationship that they have with the company, but it is said that Microsoft charges somewhere between $8 and $15 for every handset that runs on Windows Mobile.