We haven’t heard much from Project Astoria recently, but now it seems like the app-porting initiative has breathed its last. Microsoft has officially confirmed that they are abandoning their plans to use the project to port Android apps to Windows 10 Mobile:
[Microsoft] announced the Windows Bridge for Android (project “Astoria”) at Build last year, and some of you have asked about its status. We received a lot of feedback that having two Bridge technologies to bring code from mobile operating systems to Windows was unnecessary, and the choice between them could be confusing. We have carefully considered this feedback and decided that we would focus our efforts on the Windows Bridge for iOS and make it the single Bridge option for bringing mobile code to all Windows 10 devices, including Xbox and PCs. For those developers who spent time investigating the Android Bridge, we strongly encourage you to take a look at the iOS Bridge and Xamarin as great solutions.
This is actually reasonably predictable move, given recent events. A few days ago, Microsoft revealed that they had ambitions to acquire Xamarin, which is a company dedicated to creating tools that make developing software on Android, iOS, and Windows mobile devices at once. By sharing common code, apps developed with Xamarin tools can be easily updated on each of these platforms, and it makes simultaneous releases much less complicated.
It’s possible that acquiring Xamarin would render Project Astoria redundant, so while this one initiative is dying, it’s clear that Microsoft is still in the cross-platform development game. Exactly what form that will take is yet to be seen. In the meantime, what do you think of Microsoft’s efforts to bring Android apps to their Windows 10 Mobile users? Is this a step in the right direction, or evidence of a stumble? Let us know your opinion and speculation in the comments below.