Keeping the rubber boot maker on side
CEO Steve Ballmer wrote a huge cheque for $250 million to the former rubber boot maker Nokia in the last quarter.
The figure appears in Nokia's fourth quarter earnings report
and is under the cryptic heading "platform support payments." This is the money that Vole is paying to Nokia to adopt Windows Phone 7. Nokia certainly needed the cash. Its sales of $13.2 billion in the quarter were down 21 per cent from the same period a year ago and it lost a 1.07 billion euros which could not be found down the back of the sofa.
The outfit can take comfort from the fact that it sold 1.5 million Windows phones in the quarter which means that the relationship with Redmond at least is paying off and should get better as time goes on. Nokia said that the strategic agreement with Microsoft includes platform support payments from Microsoft to us as well as software royalty payments from us to Microsoft. It did not say how much Nokia would pay back to Vole in software royalties, but it does say that it is paying the minimum.
Still Microsoft will get most of its $250 million back from Nokia eventually.