Microsoft tool to bring Android apps to Windows delayed

by: Robert TriggsNovember 16, 2015


Remember Microsoft’s efforts to bring Android apps to its Windows operating system? Well that idea appears to have been shelved, at least for now, as Microsoft has confirmed that it is not moving ahead with the project as initially planned.

News about Project Astoria, as it is internally known, has been quiet for some time now and the official word from Microsoft is that it is not ready yet. That said, Microsoft has not clarified whether the project has simply been delayed, is on hold or has been completely scrapped. We don’t exactly know why the plan has changed either, perhaps some unforeseen technical challenges have thrown a spanner in the works.

“The Astoria bridge is not ready yet, but other tools offer great options for developers … We’re committed to offering developers many options to bring their apps to the Windows Platform.” – Microsoft

Android is by far the most prevalent mobile operating system around the world, while Microsoft’s mobile market share remains considerably smaller. When it comes to apps, a larger install base attracts additional developers, which in turn creates a more advanced ecosystem for users. Many feel that Microsoft’s limited market share was keeping it trapped outside of most consumers’ considerations. The company had looked to improve app support on its Windows 10 platform, which is also supported on new phones and tablets, by allowing apps written in Java, Android’s language of choice, to be easily ported for use with Windows 10.

This strategy was always going to be a risk for Microsoft, as either way developers would not be targeting its platform as a priority. Now it’s not clear how Microsoft will create a stronger appeal to app developers. Perhaps its shared platform across PC, mobile and its Xbox gaming system will be enough, if the company can realize its goal of one billion Windows 10 powered devices within the next three years.

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  • Microsoft is prioritizing and prefer iOS apps over Android apps because, unlike Android apps, iOS apps also work on the desktop.

    “Back when Microsoft originally announced its plans at its Build developers conference in April, Windows chief Terry Myerson revealed to The Verge that the company had considered solely supporting iOS. “At times we’ve thought, let’s just do iOS,” explained Myerson at the time. The main reason to include Android support, Myerson argued, was to capture a bigger audience of developers in countries where iOS devices aren’t available.”

    “We’re committed to offering developers many options to bring their apps to the Windows Platform, including bridges available now for Web and iOS, and soon Win32. The Astoria bridge is not ready yet, but other tools offer great options for developers. For example, the iOS bridge enables developers to write a native Windows Universal app which calls UWP APIs directly from Objective-C, and to mix and match UWP and iOS concepts such as XAML and UIKit. Developers can write apps that run on all Windows 10 devices and take advantage of native Windows features easily. We’re grateful to the feedback from the development community and look forward to supporting them as they develop apps for Windows 10.”

  • jz100

    I have a Lumia 640 that I don’t use due to the lame apps. This will just put a nail in their coffin for future phones.

  • Mohd Danial

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