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Ballmer: MS not getting into handset biz

So much for the Zune phone...

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Windows Mobile seems to be as far as Microsoft’s willing to delve into mobile phones. The firm’s CEO, Steve Ballmer, has denied it’s planning to start making handsets.

According to a Reuters report, Ballmer said today that he doesn’t anticipate the firm developing a phone. “Sorry, we are not going to build one,” he said.

Of course, there’s nothing to stop Microsoft changing its mind a few years down the line, but Ballmer’s comment is clear cut for now.

He added that, for now at least, Microsoft is content developing the Windows Mobile platform, and that it plans to continue charging handset manufacturers licence fees to use the system on their phones.

According to Reuters, analyst Strategy Analytics has estimated that Microsoft charges a fee of between $8 and $15 (£6/€10) per phone.

HTC, for example, is a big fan of Windows Mobile. The firm’s Chief Marketing Officer, John Wang, recently said that Windows Mobile-based phones will continue to be HTC’s most important post-Android market.

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