Microsoft is working on introducing support for Android apps on its Windows 10 operating system according to reports. While this needs to be filed under rumor for now, as Microsoft has not confirmed this officially yet, the implementation could increase the popularity of the Microsoft Store significantly in the best case scenario.
According to Windows Central, Microsoft calls the attempt Project Latte, and it is designed to make it as simple as possible for Android developers to bring their apps to the Windows 10 ecosystem.
We have seen a similar approach in the past when Microsoft introduced functionality to create a Microsoft Store version of Win32 applications so that they could be published in the company’s Store.
The all-in approach of making the Store the central location for all software needs has been abandoned some time ago by Microsoft as it became clear that it would not get enough traction to supersede Win32.
Microsoft did introduce support for mirroring the screen of Android devices on Windows 10 but the feature is limited to Samsung devices currently and requires that users have such a device at hand.
Support for converting Android applications to a format that can be downloaded, installed and run on Windows 10 natively would make this simpler, but it would require that developers convert their apps and games to the format supported by Windows 10.
There are other downsides, likely. Windows Central suggests that apps could not make use of Google Play services as Google prohibits use of these services in other environments. There are several possibilities in regards to this, a potential cooperation between Microsoft and Google seems unlikely, but Microsoft could consider creating its own version of it that developers could make use of. Another possibility is that apps that require Google Play services cannot be ported to the Microsoft Store; this would limit the number of apps that can be converted.
Support for Android apps could give the apps section of the Microsoft Store a much needed injection of content. There are lots of ifs currently that will determine the project’s success or failure, e.g. whether Google Play services or an alternative will be supported, how easy conversions will be, how many developers will consider bringing their apps to Windows 10, and how many Windows 10 users will give the store a chance if Android apps become available. How many Android applications are worth porting over, and how many bring something unique to the operating system?
Lots of ifs and uncertainties at this point.
Now You: are there any Android apps or games that you would like to see on Windows 10?
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