Make Microsoft happy -- buy an Android phone and help the company rake in $444 million

By Preston Gralla

The tech world may be waiting to see what Nokia has on tap later this week for new Windows Phone 7 devices. But if you really want to make Microsoft happy, you should consider buying an Android phone instead, because the company will rake in an estimated $444 million from Android royalties for the 2012 fiscal year.

Goldman Sachs estimates that Microsoft will get that $444 million, based on royalties of between $3 and $6 per devices, and based on current deals that Microsoft has in place, according to the Seattle Times.

That $444 million may even be a lowball estimate. Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith says that $5 per device "seems like a fair price," the Seattle Times says. And that $444 million figure is based only on agreements already in place, not any that Microsoft for the remainder of this year and much of next year.

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So don't be surprised if that number adds up to more than half a billion dollars, well above what Microsoft will likely make with Windows Phone 7 for 2012.

In a company blog, Smith and Horacio Gutierrez, Microsoft Deputy General Counsel reported Microsoft's tenth license agreement with an Android device maker, Compal. That comes not long after a Microsoft agreement with Samsung.

The blog claims that "Microsoft now has license agreements in place with OEMs that account for 53 percent of all Android smartphones in the United States."

So the next time you buy and Android phone, don't think you're hurting Microsoft. The company will be only too happy to cash its check.

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