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Aug 5, 2014

Android Apps Runs on Windows 9? Former Microsoft Employee Says It’s Possible

There’s no doubt that Windows 9 is going to bring a significant array of changes, and although Microsoft doesn’t talk too much about the new features to be part of this OS release, people that are more or less involved in the development process point to quite some impressive novelties.

Among them, there’s the support for Android apps, which would basically enable every Windows 9 adopter to run software published in the Play Store on their devices, be they smartphones, tablets, or even PCs. Hal Berenson, who in the past worked as engineer and general manager for Microsoft, says that bringing Android apps on Windows 9 is very likely, especially because Microsoft is struggling to address the lack of apps on its modern platforms. Just as expected, everything would start with the Windows Phone version, Berenson explained, and a potential implementation of OpenMobile ALC for Windows could make this reality. “Microsoft has only one play to really close the app gap in the next 12-18 months, and that is something they have to do that if they want Windows Phone to have a future. That play is make it easy for developers to port Android apps to Windows Phone, a capability I think is likely to be part of Threshold,” the former Microsoft employee said.

So what about PCs? If Android apps arrive on Windows Phones, in the same manner they did on BlackBerry 10 devices, expect Microsoft to make it possible to run on PCs and tablets with Windows 9 as well. And Berenson has a pretty good reason for this. “I suspect Microsoft is looking to take this another step, and use the opportunity to easily run Android apps on Threshold to convince developers to adapt them to the Microsoft environment. For example, first use it to encourage developers to support Microsoft services (when running on both Windows and Android),” he said. “Then use it to convince developers to turn their Android apps into multi-platform apps, with customizations (to the user experience) when running on Windows. How far they will go is a big question mark, but I believe they will go beyond just wanting to run existing apps unchanged.”

This isn’t the first time we’re hearing that Microsoft could allow Windows users to run Android apps on their devices, but previous reports pointed to a possible implementation of BlueStacks, the software solution that’s still in beta right now and gives users a chance to install apps from the Play Store on their Windows desktops. This time, however, it appears that Microsoft has a much more ambitious plan, but there’s no doubt that the company still needs to consider a number of setbacks that could in the end affect its core Windows platform.

First and foremost, if the majority of Android apps run on Windows, developers might not port any of their titles to Windows and thus offer users a native experience. Microsoft is already working with developers to encourage them to port apps to modern Windows, so it might look like the company is paving the road to make sure that such a thing won’t happen.

Second, if the Windows + Android cocktail doesn’t work well and users are still not attracted by such a mix, Microsoft could do more harm than good. But as Berenson points out, “when you have 3 percent market share, how much risk is it really?”

Microsoft wants to allow all Windows 9 users to run Android apps on their devices
Image credits to Lottspace.com


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