Apr 28th, 2015

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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.