Microsoft Will Allegedly Allow Android Apps to Run on Windows 10 Phones

by Istvan Fekete on April 29, 2015

Microsoft is allegedly preparing to make a controversial announcement: It will enable customers to run Android apps on their Windows 10 phones, tablets, and PCs, Paul Thurrott has learned.

This move is rather interesting, and it makes sense as we approach Microsoft’s Build conference scheduled for this week in San Francisco. In some ways we can understand the software maker’s (desperate) effort to attract developers to its platform, but we question the integrity of the message it transmits to both developers and users.

What this means to regular Windows 10 users is that they will finally be able to access popular apps that are missing from the platform. Despite its four years of existence, the Windows Phone platform lacks the essential native apps present on Android and iOS.

But that doesn’t solve the problem: Windows Phone accounts for only a fraction of the worldwide smartphone user base (about 3%), which is controlled by Android (an open platform) and iOS (Apple’s closed platform). Despite incentives at launch, Microsoft failed to attract developers to its mobile platform. As far as we know, apps make or break a platform (see Android and iOS, and the $25  app market).

By allowing Android apps to run on Windows Phone, Microsoft is taking a similar approach to BlackBerry. The latter did things differently though: It developed software that made Android app conversion into BlackBerry optimized apps easier. But we all know the result: It didn’t save BlackBerry.

For developers, Microsoft’s alleged forthcoming announcement means a slap in the face, writes Paul Thurrott, after covering Microsoft for 20 years.

“For developers who have invested a lifetime of learning and mastering Microsoft’s platforms, Android compatibility is a slap in the face. This sends the message that they have wasted their time and that it’s time to move on to a more successful platform since, after all, the apps you create for Android will now work on Android and Windows/Windows Phone. This completely usurps the presumed value of universal apps, which I assume Microsoft will also spend a lot of time promoting this week. It will not sit well with the developers who go to Build,” Thurrott writes.

One thing is sure: If the announcement goes public, it means Microsoft is publicly admitting a miserable failure with the Windows Phone platform.

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Written by: Istvan Fekete. Follow by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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