Can Android apps running on Windows save Microsoft from sinking?

Dual OS Windows and Android PCs

Microsoft is contemplating to allow Android apps to run on Windows and Windows Phone operating systems. It’s crazy to think that a company that once dominated the world of software with million of supported applications, now is debating whether to let Android apps to run freely in Windows products.

It could be a way out for Microsoft to get more apps on Windows and Windows Phone devices as the company is having a really difficult time to get “software creators” to build Metro apps for the operating systems. However the software giant has think long and hard as this radical move can beneficial, but also can bury the company giving Google the leverage to be next largest software company.

Although from the point of view of Microsoft being a software company and letting the competition fill in the gap, it’s crazy to see Android apps on Windows. But idea isn’t impossible, as concept, we’ve already seen BlueStacks, which is a desktop application that provides a way to run Android apps on Microsoft’s OS.

Another example of the same technology is provided by Pokki from SweetLaps that not only brings Android apps to Windows, but also from other platforms, and all with a simple Start menu replacement in Windows 8.

Microsoft needs help, now the Windows ecosystem is mess. The low PC sales, the slow Windows Phone devices adoption; the lack of apps in the Windows Store and Windows Phone Store; the mess inside Windows 8 not being a great operating system to use with the keyboard and mouse, led PC and headset makers look elsewhere and think different. For example, Nokia is rumored to be building an Android phone that will also be compatible with apps and services from Microsoft. Intel is already preparing the concept of “Dual OS” PCs that will allow Windows to run a virtualized version of Android’s operating system. And AMD is partnering with BlueStacks and building new chips integrated with an ARM processor, combination that will allow Android apps to run on Windows without having to virtualize Google’s mobile operating system.

This approach Microsoft is thinking could also send a mix signal to developers, the company is already struggling getting apps created for the Windows 8 modern user-interface and for Windows Phone. We see this in the daily basis when new apps from good cloud services and others releasing on iOS and Android first, and for Windows long after. As such developers could easily stop worrying about building Metro apps altogether, and it will become even harder for Microsoft to expand its library of native Metro apps for Windows and Windows Phone.

It can be understandable that Microsoft idea to allow Android apps to run on Windows is desperate move to decelerate consumers to keep jumping to Android. But I think is obvious this could only help in the short-term to sell more Windows Phone devices and PCs, just because people will be able to use their favorite Android apps, but a long-term it could easily be game over for Microsoft.

While Microsoft has yet to comment officially on the plans to let Android apps run on Windows, everything is just rumor, but it is a rumor that comes from reliable sources close to the plans according to The Verge and Mary Jo Foley from ZDNet. Also if anything happens at all, don’t expect any implementation before the release of Windows 9, which is schedule to release in 2015.

Is Microsoft losing its creativity? Do you think the company is planning the right move? What is your take?

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows expert and the Editor-in-Chief who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He is also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 12 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows, software, and related technologies, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 20 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and About.me.