Rumor: Microsoft could make it possible to run Android apps on Windows 10



Microsoft’s big developer conference is coming up next week, and while there normally wouldn’t be many implications for Android outside of announcements pertaining to their Office suite of apps, there’s even more reason to pay attention to this year’s conference.

Windows enthusiast blogger Paul Thurrott has revealed that Microsoft will most likely announce that Windows 10 will support Android apps. The details are slim, but we imagine it wouldn’t be much different than what Blackberry did a couple of years ago. The Canadian company created an Android runtime that would allow Android apps to run as long as the app was properly ported by a developer, a process which only took about 5 minutes of work.

Microsoft has struggled in the apps department to this point, with many developers opting to skip their platform altogether when it comes to mobile apps. The likely reason is that there simply isn’t a big enough user base on Windows Phone for developers to commit resources to. On the flipside, users aren’t going to want to use a platform that doesn’t have as many apps as the competition.

It’s your classic chicken or egg scenario: something has to come first, and it’s not crazy to suggest Microsoft believes that “something” has to be the apps. The onus is on them to attract developers and persuade them to build apps for their platform, and while Microsoft’s current efforts have been noble it simply hasn’t been enough.

Tell a developer they can port their pre-existing app to your platform in 5 minutes and the needle might finally move. That brings more apps, which brings more users, which ultimately might convince more developers to learn how to build native apps for the platform and make it the thriving marketplace it needs to be to survive in today’s mobile world.

This obviously won’t offer as great an app experience as an Android phone would, what with many apps taking advantage of Google Play Services’ unique APIs and services to create rich features. But a decent stable of apps to full a couple of gaps can’t hurt Microsoft more than they’re already hurting.

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. I would rather run my android apps on android.

    1. On a phone I agree. But for a laptop replacement tablet such as the Lenovo ThinkPad Helix I’d much rather have full Windows and run Android apps.

      1. Bluestacks…

        1. Not ready for prime time. Try it.

          1. I use it all the time. Once I figured out how to make the Play store work I was fine with it.

        2. No thanks. Works, but not that great.

  2. Hopefully this will help them get back into the game. Competition is always a good thing.

  3. Why would anyone own a windows phone? ?

    1. Not everyone likes licking Google’s ass you know…

      1. But you like licking m$ ass one cares for pos windoze with 2% market share they need to just fold. Running android apps on pos windoze ken phone is like putting lipstick on a pig.

        1. I see what you did there calling it windoze, ha ha. I have a 1020 that’s a solid phone with an outstanding camera. Got all the app I need. I also have a S5 so I switch between the both. It truly amazes me how much vitriol some have for a platform they know nothing about.

        2. Yeah because most Android apps simply suck, I don’t want my WP to be infected with all that Android malware

  4. Hey Microsoft – Blackberry already tried this – the flocks of interested users never arrived. What makes you think you’ll do any better?

    1. I would of never tried BB yet I am interested in this product. Most people use Windows on their PC, so that’s already an advantage.

      1. Except that brand recognition hasn’t helped Windows phone at all so far, so what’s the advantage now?

        1. The positive changes coming with windows 10?

          1. I don’t see Windows 10 having any more positive impact on Windows Phone than 7, 8 or 8.1 did. A good OS is a nice start, but people are quick to discover that it’s not the OS in and of itself that makes a phone, it’s the services and ecosystem.

            Note also that apps from other ecosystems have their own UI and workflow designs which are very different than than Windows. In that respect leveraging Android to overcome the Windows Phone application gap will just muddle the experience for the user. (As a side note, this whole idea leaves out support for Android Widgets). Given this I don’t see this as a good move – this is MS saying “I Give Up” and throwing design and user experience under the bus.

          2. That may very well be the case. We shall see. I’m looking forward to seeing it none the less. Microsoft seems to be going in a good direction these days.

          3. Im with you man. This might be a positive thing for Microsoft to actually move more of their products! I would buy a nice Lumia that runs Android apps!

  5. So I’ll be able to run all my favorite Android apps all while finally having a great camera and OS stability? Sign me up!

  6. Are they just resigned to the fact that not a lot of devs wanna work on Windows stuff?

  7. It’s over Microsoft. Great effort but this is it. You’ve lost.

    Microsoft is better off bribing OEMs to highlight their services on top of Android. Some of this wouldn’t be bad. Let’s say Samsung made Skype it’s default sms app which also had the ability for video chat. It would be like iMessage but for Android phones. Google Hangouts has not caught on.

  8. Would consider Windows now if possible

  9. release a solid phone and give me the option of running Android apps and i’ll consider it. The only reason I got rid of my Nokia was because of the horrible marketplace.

  10. Android apps on an android phone> Android apps on a windows phone

  11. This would be great. I’m itching to try WP 10 but I rely on Google apps for pretty much everything.

  12. This is good news. I plan on getting a Surface 3. Being able to use Android apps on it would make it an even better purchase since Metro apps suck for the most part.

  13. “But a decent stable of apps to full a couple of gaps can’t hurt Microsoft more than they’re already hurting.”

    Have you tried the new Swiftkey Clarity Keyboard yet? lol

  14. “embrace, extend, extinguish”.
    i’ve been wondering when they might finally bring their “embrace” task into their core OS.

    if they are up to their old tricks again then I’d expect Microsoft to contribute code to AOSP; eventually stumble on (or purposefully aim towards) something AOSP is unwilling to accept; then begin distributing their own fork of Dalvik/ART [EXTEND phase].

    after a year or two of heavily promoting their proprietary extensions they’ll start stripping out support for the standard Dalvik/ART/etc components their extensions are meant to replace [EXTINGUISH phase].

    If successful Microsoft will have convinced a large subset of Android developers to target THEIR variant of the Android runtime, thus gaining control over the platform by controlling the developers themselves.

    This is how Microsoft reached their peak success some years back and I see no reason for them to avoid trying it again. Hopefully other interested parties will see straight through it and do something meaningful to stop them from harming the platform.

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