Microsoft considering allowing Android apps to run on Windows - report

Posted:
in General Discussion edited February 2014
In an effort to bolster its struggling Windows platforms, Microsoft is said to be "seriously considering" allowing Android applications to run in both the traditional Windows environment, as well as on the Windows Phone mobile platform.

Surface


The pros and cons are currently being weighed by the Redmond, Wash., software giant, according to The Verge. Feelings among executives at the company are said to be both "mixed" and "strong," the report published Wednesday claims.

Though Windows has long been the dominant platform among traditional computers, Microsoft has seen its influence wane as devices like Apple's iPad have chipped away at PC sales. And mobile platforms like Apple's iOS and Google's Android control the lion's share of the mobile space, while Microsoft's Windows Phone is a distant third.

Android in particular is the Windows of the mobile space, with recent estimates showing that Google's open-source platform has accounted for the vast majority of all smartphone shipments. Apple's iPhone is positioned solely in the high-end of the market, and together with Android, the two platforms account for nearly all smartphones shipped.

Some within Microsoft believe that the company's current woes could potentially be addressed by allowing Android applications to run on Windows devices. Such a move would open up the Windows platforms to hundreds of thousands of new software options not currently available to users on the company's devices.

Surface


While developers are focused on creating new applications for Apple's iOS and Google's Android, applications for Windows Phone are less common, and there are far fewer options available on the Windows Store. Wednesday's report suggests that running Android apps on both Windows Phone and traditional Windows could serve as a "Band-Aid" for the company's current predicament.

That strategy has already failed to generate much attention once, however, as BlackBerry has made efforts to allow Android applications to run on its BlackBerry 10 operating system. Starting with the latest BB10 update, users can install Android applications over the air, but users must still find the necessary APK files for the process to work.

Microsoft is very much a company in transition, having named Satya Nadella as its new CEO last week. In addition, company founder Bill Gates has stepped down as chairman of the board to take a more active, product-focused role at the company.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 39
    Nice this has got to be outside of the msft business plan of "lock them in with applications".

    If someone could make a better word and excel then the software world could get interesting.
  • Reply 2 of 39
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,379member
    mmmm... I'll have to think about that one. Sign of MS's inability to get into the mobile market maybe so they bring it to their PC world ... ?
  • Reply 3 of 39
    how the mighty have fallen. !
  • Reply 4 of 39

    Do it Billy Boy!  Allow this idiotic plan that definitely does not have enough thought put into it to happen!  Give us OS X and iOS users a great laugh as the 2 infamous virus ridden OS  will run on the poorly built Windows dull boxes!  Not too long ago was there an appleinsider article stating how the number of malware/viruses are more and worse when compared to Windows XP.

  • Reply 5 of 39

    It's that basic scientific principle: crap attracts crap - enough said.

  • Reply 6 of 39
    Why not? They let Java run on Windows. Except this time, Microsoft can embrace, extend, extinguish without pesky lawsuits from Sun Microsystems.
  • Reply 7 of 39
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 5,727member

    that's just sad. Run Android in a kind of emulator (or virtual machine) is a recipe for disaster.

  • Reply 8 of 39
    thttht Posts: 4,028member

    Has MS gone insane? They mind as well pull out of the handheld OS market right now and save themselves the effort of maintaining compatibility.

  • Reply 9 of 39
    512ke512ke Posts: 782member

    Microsoft considering allowing Android apps to run on Windows

     

    but not

     

    Microsoft considering full Office to run on Android and iOS

  • Reply 10 of 39
    Microsoft running its arch rival's OS on its own hardware is beyond belief... things in Redmond must be pretty critical... it won't be long and Bill will be out on the assembly line with a soldering iron and Melinda will be break dancing out in front of an empty (but open) ME store trying to drawn in someone...anyone...!
  • Reply 11 of 39
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,379member
    brlawyer wrote: »
    It's that basic scientific principle: crap attracts crap - enough said.

    Imagine ... you could buy just one PC computer with all the malware, trojans and viruses known to man, mobile and non mobile, all in one place. Sweet.
  • Reply 12 of 39

    Keyword missing from the article and headline: "beleaguered".

     

    "Microsoft considering allowing Android apps to run on Windows"

    Instead, try: Beleaguered Microsft considers allowing Android apps to run on Windows.

     

    "...effort to bolster its struggling Windows platforms, Microsoft is said to be..."

    No. Instead: ...struggling Windows platforms, the beleaguered Microsoft is said...

     

    "Microsoft is very much a company in transition..."

    No. Instead: Microsoft is a beleaguered company in transition...

  • Reply 13 of 39
    gwmacgwmac Posts: 1,799member

    If there are few apps for Windows phone now wait until they do this. Overnight app development for Windows Phone would cease to exist. Why bother writing native apps when they can save money on development costs and just let those users run the Android version instead. 

  • Reply 14 of 39

    "...and, Ladys and Gentlemen, you can watch the fall of Microsoft in 5, 4, 3... " 

  • Reply 15 of 39
    Microsoft don't have to 'allow' Android apps to run under Windows. It's an open platform, anybody can write an emulator or create a VM environment with no involvement from Microsoft.

    I assume the article is implying that Microsoft is itself developing this ability, either as a standalone application or directly within the OS?
  • Reply 16 of 39
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Macky the Macky View Post



    Microsoft running its arch rival's OS on its own hardware is beyond belief... things in Redmond must be pretty critical... it won't be long and Bill will be out on the assembly line with a soldering iron and Melinda will be break dancing out in front of an empty (but open) ME store trying to drawn in someone...anyone...!

    I believe you're confused because that's not what is happening. 

     

    This is not Android running on top of Windows, this is just building a Davilk (java-based) VM for Windows. Basically, you can run your Android apps on top of this VM like you can run Java apps on top of Oracle's Java runtime on Windows. That's all there is, you're still running Windows but it's running Android apps. 

     

    This would be a smart move for MS if they want to expand their library of apps quickly but they have to replace Google's Play services with their own because Google will not license that to MS. 

     

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by gwmac View Post

     

    If there are few apps for Windows phone now wait until they do this. Overnight app development for Windows Phone would cease to exist. Why bother writing native apps when they can save money on development costs and just let those users run the Android version instead. 


     

    It's not like there is any major development going on now. Microsoft's failing in the market because there's not enough apps. If MS now can have the vast library of Android apps while providing a replacement of Google's Play Service with Xbox services instead, it'd benefit everybody. 



    Why? Because if you can run both Windows Phone app and Android apps at the same time on top-quality Nokia devices, wouldn't you rather get that instead of Android devices?

     

    Over time, as MS gets more of the market share, MS can expand their services for the Android apps and eventually, to get more native quality experience, developers can switch over to Windows' runtime instead without losing much because MS have a bigger market. 

  • Reply 17 of 39

    Hello everybody, first time posting long time reader. These is kind of a cool idea, I just can’t stand Android, I hate all things with a virtual machine runtime, Java I’m talking to you. A little off subject but I recently bought a Nokia 2520 along with a Nokia 1520 as a bundled package from my provider. It was such a good deal that it was hard to pass up.

     

    At home I currently have a Mac Mini, an Intel NUC running Linux Mint (I live in a condo so space is limited), an iPad 2 that has seen better days and a B&N Nook (yes I know its Android but as a eBook reader it’s fine). So I was in the market for a new tablet and or a laptop to take with me while commuting to work. I was going to buy an iPad Air with the Logitech keyboard until I saw the Nokia 2520 at the shop. I kind of felled instantly in love with the thing.

     

    I had never used a Windows 8 device prior to this purchase so it was defiantly an interesting afternoon when I got it home. I also purchased the Nokia keyboard with built in battery and 2 USB ports, something that was missing (plus built in HDMI with true 1080p) from the iPad and two years of 200GB SkyDrive storage. I have 55GB of iCloud storage as well which I absolutely love, SkyDrive is a pretty decent service I have to say, not to mention fast and is cheaper than iCloud, 200GB for the same price as Apple’s 55GB option.

     

    Really digging the online Office apps that is part of SkyDrive, which I am now using as my main Office program for both the Nokia and Mac Mini, yes the Nokia came with Office installed but like I said, I’m really digging the online stuff. The Nokia has the most amazing looking screen, not as good as the iPad of course but defiantly beautiful looking none the less, speed is blazing fast, hasn’t hung once, LTE is friggen awesome on this, I have a unlimited internet contract with 150Mbit/s down and 30 Mbit/s up, breathtakingly fast internet.

     

    I have over 100GB’s of ripped Blueray movies on my SkyDrive that stream so fast, you couldn’t tell the difference if the movie was on the local drive. That’s another thing I have to mention, SkyDrive is brilliantly embedded into Windows 8, it uses SkyDrive like a local drive, all apps can use it and with my silly, stupid, fast internet, it feels like one. I didn’t like the limited storage however, 32GB just isn’t enough, even after I deleted the 6GB recovery partition I only had 24GB of free space. I bought a 64GB SanDisk 90MBs Micro SD card to rectify the problem and linked it to SkyDrive for all of my personal data, so the 24GB is reserved only for apps. Meaning when I save, say a photo from a website it goes into the SD card then it is synced into the cloud. Windows 8, I like it, I’ve read enough comments here to know that most of you hate it but on this device it rocks.

     

    As far as the limited apps are concern, well I have found and installed everything I was looking for and more, like the web Office though, I use a lot of web apps. So is it better than the iPad Air, as just a tablet, probably not, hybrid though, absolutely. I think it’s the perfect stop gap for me until Apple releases an iPad with OSX. The buzz around the water cooler is that it just might happen. everybody, first time posting long time reader. These is kind of a cool idea. I recently bought a Nokia 2520 and Nokia 1520 as a bundled package from my provider. It was such a good deal that it was hard to pass up.

     

    At home I currently have a Mac Mini, an Intel NUC running Linux Mint (I use it on my TV) and a iPad 2 that has seen better days. So I was in the market for a new tablet and or laptop to take with me while commuting to work. I was going to buy a iPad Air with a Logitech keyboard until I saw the Nokia 2520 at the shop. I kind of felled instantly in love with the thing. I had never used a Windows 8 device prior to this purchase so it was defiantly a interesting afternoon when I got it home. I also purchased the keyboard with built in battery and USB ports something that was missing from the iPad. I also purchased two years, 200GB of SkyDrive

  • Reply 18 of 39
    emesemes Posts: 239member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Macky the Macky View Post



    Microsoft running its arch rival's OS on its own hardware is beyond belief... things in Redmond must be pretty critical... it won't be long and Bill will be out on the assembly line with a soldering iron and Melinda will be break dancing out in front of an empty (but open) ME store trying to drawn in someone...anyone...!

    Not OS, just apps.

     

    And I hope I don't need to remind you that Siri uses Bing as a default.

  • Reply 19 of 39
    icoco3icoco3 Posts: 1,467member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

     

    ...

    Android in particular is the Windows of the mobile space, with recent estimates showing that Google's open-source platform has accounted for the vast majority of all smartphone shipments.

    ...


    emphasis added...

     

    Shipments                    YES

    Profits                           NO

    Use                               NO

    Loyalty                          NO

    Long Term Support         NO

  • Reply 20 of 39
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,379member
    icoco3 wrote: »
    emphasis added...

    Shipments                    YES
    Profits                           NO
    Use                               NO
    Loyalty                          NO
    Long Term Support         NO

    Wall Street would love that scenario I'd think ... wait a minute they already do!
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