Microsoft pulls in $444 million per year from Android patents

Microsoft is expected to pull in a revenue of some $75 billion for the 2012 fiscal year, so $444 million from Android is just loose change.

When you spending your hard-earned cash on an Android smartphone or tablet, you're actually adding a few bucks to Microsoft's massive cash haul.

According to a note from Goldman Sachs's technology analyst team, Microsoft is pulling in between $3 and $6 per Android device sold thanks to patent deals signed with companies such as Samsung and HTC. In all this works out at some $444 million per year for the Redmond giant.

Sounds like a lot, but in the grand scheme of things it's a drop in the ocean. Microsoft is expected to pull in revenue of some $75 billion for the 2012 fiscal year.

In other words, it's loose change.

Android might be a cash cow for Microsoft, but you do have to question whether the return Microsoft is making off of the patents is offsetting the damage Android is doing to Microsoft's mobile platform aspirations.

The upside for Microsoft though is that Android sales are set to soar ... so that $444 million will also grow.