Rumors of an Android-powered Nokia phone have been going around for years now, and while there hasn’t been a mass market version of it yet, you can be assured there are at least some Android-powered devices being tested internally by Nokia. There was a loud outcry back when Stephen Elop decided that Nokia would use Windows Phone for its flagship devices, but eventually things settled down and Nokia is currently churning out some pretty decent Windows Phone devices, possibly even beginning to rival Android in some departments.

It’s important to note that Nokia is still using its very old Series 40 operating system for its low end Asha devices. The low end market is still an area where Nokia is strong in, and the company will need to work hard to retain that advantage against competitors such as Samsung and low-cost brands from China.

Now with the majority of Nokia being scheduled to be sold to Microsoft, the question of whether Nokia will still release an Android phone has surfaced again. Using Android has always been a cheap and easy way to target the lower end of the market, but now reports are surfacing that Microsoft might be considering licensing Windows RT for free, which would provide an interesting proposition while increasing Windows RT’s market share, which hasn’t been stellar.

While it’s probably safe to assume that Windows is Microsoft’s platform of choice, let’s not forget that the software giant also makes a healthy profit from the patent licensing deal with Android device manufacturers. Deals that some say could rake in over $3 billion for Microsoft in 2013 alone. Whether Microsoft will be able to continue raking in such licensing fees for Android in the long term remains to be seen, due to the debate over the validity of the patent.

Why Nokia Is Building an Android Phone and Why Microsoft Might Not Kill It

As reported by The Verge and also confirmed to AllThingsD by sources at the Finnish phone maker, the Normandy project has survived despite Nokia’s plan to sell both its Windows Phone unit and the low-end mobile phone business to Microsoft.

As to whether Microsoft will let the project see light of day once it acquires Nokia early next year, the answer is less certain. However, within Nokia there is a sense that Redmond may be willing to pursue the project.