Microsoft paying Nokia over $1bn in Windows Phone deal?

Microsoft's financial support to bring Nokia on board wasn't exactly a mystery – the two companies openly discussed "significant investments" in engineering and marketing support – but the leaked figures keep getting higher and higher. Initially tipped at "hundreds of millions," now there's talk of over $1bn by Businessweek's sources, as part of a 5+ year deal.

According to the leaks, Nokia will – like other Windows Phone licensees – pay Microsoft a royalty fee for each copy of the smartphone OS shipped. However, that fee will be offset by Nokia's shrinking budget for software R&D. Analysts are suggesting that cut could be as much as one third from the previous year.

Microsoft will apparently begin paying Nokia even before the first Windows Phone device from the company shifts, though in return it will get access to Nokia's patent portfolio; revenue from services like advertising and search will be equally split. The deal is yet to be officially signed.