BlueStacks brings Android apps to Microsoft Surface Pro

BlueStacks, which is a product that lets users run Android apps on Windows computers, is releasing a new version today that brings the functionality to Windows 8 and the Microsoft Surface Pro. Until today, BlueStacks has only been available for Windows 7 and Mac OSX. The latest version of BlueStacks fully supports Windows 8 -- including new features like charms bar support and rotation support -- but is also optimized for the recently released Surface Pro.

BlueStacks has partnerships with several OEMs already, and users have made over 5 million downloads of the software directly from its website alone. The software is also free, which is fantastic for Windows 8 users looking to try out the experience of running Android apps on their PC's with full touch capabilities. You can get more information and grab a download at the source link below.

Source: BlueStacks

BlueStacks Releases Surface Pro-Optimized Version of “App Player”

Announces to fill widening Win8 App Gap

Campbell, CA  February 12, 2013 – Mobile company BlueStacks today released a Surface Pro-optimized, officially supported Windows 8 version of its popular App Player software. The program is free to download and can run any Android app on the new Surface Pro. BlueStacks also announced a new site: where new Windows 8 and Surface Pro users can download BlueStacks’ software and bring any mobile apps to their device. Recently, Google launched a Get Your Google Back video campaign that BlueStacks is paying homage to.

“We’ve had our users asking for a Win8 version for a long time,” said BlueStacks CEO Rosen Sharma. “Now that it’s finally available on our website we’re looking forward to getting feedback and building on the experience. The number of mobile apps being written overall is expanding exponentially and Microsoft has not added apps to the handful it has. Our goal is to get people more value out of their Surface Pro and Win8 devices.”

Having announced several OEM partnerships in recent months, BlueStacks also recently passed 5 million downloads of its mobile software across Mac and PC. The downloads all came from the company’s homepage, Additional download numbers via OEM partnerships have not been released, though the company says they are healthy. “The response in the OEM community has been as strong or stronger than the surprising numbers we’ve been seeing from organic downloads,” said BlueStacks head of Global Sales and Strategic Alliances, Apu Kumar. “We seem to have reached a tipping point where we’ve brought mobile apps to so many computers worldwide, the remaining OEM’s customers are asking for these apps also. We’re the perfect conduit to get popular programs back on the PC.”  

The company’s site at allows new Surface Pro and Win8 PC owners to get apps from their phone and any additional apps they want into their Win8 PC, running them fullscreen and touch-enabled. The site went live today.


BlueStacks was launched in 2009 to bring the energy of the mobile app world to every type of device. The company is funded with 15M from Andreessen-Horowitz, Radar Partners, Redpoint, Ignition Partners and Qualcomm. BlueStacks was the upset winner of “Best Software at CES 2012 for its App Player software. Join their more than 1 million Facebook fans at, or on Twitter at @BlueStacksinc

Andrew was an Executive Editor, U.S. at Android Central between 2012 and 2020.

  • Even this won't save the flopped surface product range. Bluestacks adds such an emulation overhead, that only the most basic Android apps are in any way usable. There is also HUGE compatibility problems with many apps too.. Before wasting your cash on a Surface Pro (note: This won't work on the slightly less expensive Surface RT tablets), try it out on PC. If you think you will be getting the best of both worlds with this, think again...
  • Do you have a Surface Pro? If not, then there's nothing you can actually say that can be actually credible for this. Its "optimized for the Surface Pro" sooooo obviously they put in some effort to MAKE it work on the Surface Pro. Granted it may be exactly what you say: completely useless on the device, but ONLY time will tell when people actually GET those devices. Mine is going to be here later today or sometime tomorrow. Got Best Buy to order one for me and says its already on the truck headed to the store.
  • He's actually correct, and I would ask you a similar question to the one you posed him: do you have Bluestacks installed and have used it? It lags greatly on even a top-of-the-line PC due to the emulation. If it lags that much on my PCs, it's going to lag even more on a Surface Pro considering they built in support for additional Win8 features. It's either going to take a couple more processor generations or a big inprovement in emulation speed to make Bluestacks useful for a consumer. Saying anything else is blind and uninformed fanboyism.
  • Bluestacks works quite well on my older Core2Quad PC, not super buttery smooth, but it is an old version of Android. To add to that, if you think BlueStacks is slow and unreliable, allow me to introduce the SDK Emulator.
  • What is the point of posting misinformation? I just downloaded bluestacks on my 3 year old laptop that has Win 8 installed and Fruit Ninja and Talking Tom 2 both ran flawlessly with no lag whatsoever. It is a fast laptop with a 1.6 i7 quad core and a fast video card with 1gb of dedicated video memory, but this definitely works well with the right system. A touch pad works surprisingly well, but a touch screen would be ideal.
  • I've been using it the past few hours and all the apps I've experimented with have worked well. It took a bit to find the shared folder in windows explorer and in bluestacks, but they are there and files can be transferred between the two systems there easily using the shared folders. Files from Win8 can also be read easily from within bluestacks with a marketplace file explorer or other app that can navigate to the proper path. Bluestacks did freeze up a few times, and sounds stopped working after a while of using Talking Tom. With a little more work this could be quite good to access certain apps. TubeMate and other side loaded apps install easily enough by right clicking on the apk in Windows explorer.
  • Is it a hardware issue, not enough power & ram, or a software issue in your opinion. Would love to try it on a laptop if its easy to use and install, my dad would love his play market apps on his laptop.
  • I used it on a laptop that has Win8 installed, so I installed the latest Win8 version that is mentioned in this article. Not sure about earlier versions. They sounded more problematic. It is definitely not the real deal yet. It works great to sync and copy and pull up information from apps I use on my phone onto my computer with the app I am already familiar with. But, there are glitches, adjustments and it is still a bit unrefined at this point. I have also now found some apps that just do not work. If the user experience of using apps on the native iOS, Android and Win8 platforms is rated a 10, the Bluestacks experience is 6 or 7. But in comparing this or the nothing before Bluestacks, this is fantastic. To answer your question, the glitches seem to be software related.
  • ty
  • LOL Vendetta against MSFT much?
  • Ummm, what cave do you live in? The Surface Pro is sold out in most places. I give it less than 2 years before MS tablets outnumber Android tablets out there. They're too mainstream and run applications that millions and millions of people rely on.
  • Yes it is: sold out due to the limited supply, not huge sales numbers. If anything I can see the opposite happening. People are finding out they need Windows less and less now that they are using their iOS and Android tablets. The Surface Pro is too expensive, and is still a laptop that wants to be a tablet. It's far from a mainstream device.
  • Ok, sure, the Surface is likely sold out primarily due to intentionally limited supply. That's fine. I think the Surface line is flawed for a number of reasons - the incompatibility issues with RT, limited storage capacities for both and stupid pricing. On the other hand, I sincerely hope your joking when you say people are finding they need Windows less and less now that they have iOS and Android tablets. Please. iOS and Android's capabilities are a joke. Sure, people don't need Windows... unless they actually need to accomplish something. And I'm not bashing Android (or iOS). I have a Android phone, tablet and a TV stick connected to a secondary input on my desktop monitor. I love Android, but when it comes to actually accomplishing anything work-related, there's no alternative to Windows. Hell, even most leisure activities like casual web browsing and watching YouTube are far superior on Windows than either iOS or Android. As flawed as the Surface tablets are, you're a fool if you don't think they represent a major threat to Android and iOS based tablets. The ability to run ***REAL*** applications, as opposed to simplistic and feature limited "apps" is HUGE. The Metro UI is a disaster on the desktop, but it works reasonably well with touch based input. Price not withstanding, I would take a Windows 8 tablet over an Android or iOS one ANY DAY, and I think most of the general public would as well - you give up almost nothing and gain far, FAR more capabilities. It would be good for casual activities AND actual productivity tasks. And just so you don't get any misconceptions, I've been highly critical of Microsoft, Windows 8's Metro being forced onto the desktop and some of their their stupid choices with the Surface. But I have to be honest - at present, Android and iOS are toys, nothing more. Windows, the MacOS (and Linux for the right people) are real OS's for people to get real work done, and that's not going to change any time soon.
  • I agree with most of what you said, though to suggest that nothing is going to happen soon in the operating system environment is pretty bold. It could easily happen that Android or iOS become something just as competitive as Windows or OSX or Linux. I love Windows 8 - I honestly think it's a huge step forward if you are willing to adapt how you interact with your computer. That being said, I think it would be easy for Apple or Microsoft to make a wrong move just as Android makes a right move and we would see the market pretty disrupted pretty quick.
  • I don't think it'd be as easy as you suggest. Microsoft has made numerous wrong moves - Vista and, debatably, Windows 8, and there's not even the slightest sign that it's cost them any market share. People just kept using XP in the case of Vista, and will likely just keep using 7 in the case of 8. The singular purpose of a desktop OS is to run applications, Windows and the MacOS have them while Android, iOS and even Linux don't. Even if OEM's started installing Android along side Windows on PC's (or iOS on Macs), there's still no incentive for any major developers to invest the resources into making Android or iOS versions of their desktop applications. Suggesting otherwise is like saying if Chevy, Ford, Toyota et. al. made wrong moves at the same time Ducati made a right move, you could see large scale switching to motorcycles over cars. Even with flaws, cars have utility that motorcycles will never possess. Likewise, full desktop OS's like Windows and the MacOS have utility that Android, iOS and, to a lesser extent Linux, don't, and adding that utility to those will take more than a few years. On top of the lack of "real" applications, look at the chaos surrounding Android updates. It's honestly a disaster. There's simply no reason it should be as difficult as it is. Where Windows and the MacOS have been designed for decades to be compatible and resilient to a wide range of hardware configurations. Imagine if you had to rely on Dell, HP, Acer or Lenovo to release OS updates for each specific system configuration they sell. Ain't gunna happen. Despite all it's flaws, I know I can install Windows on damn near any system I have, install damn near any piece of hardware I buy, and install any application I've used in the past decade (or more) and it'll all simply work. Android would have to gain that level of comparability *and* offer some kind of additional incentive for any chance of it overtaking Windows or the MacOS as a general use OS. I think people vastly underestimate what people use computers for. Sure, phones and tablets are all the rage, and for some casual tasks like web browsing, people might turn to them over desktop systems, but in the grand scheme, those uses pale in comparison to the ones that phones and tablets don't (and can't any time soon) match in terms of capabilities utility and performance.
  • Disko has it right, they're not sold out due to phenomenal sales, it's due to limited supply numbers. Most people aren't about to go drop a grand on a laptop/tablet hybrid that is going to be a step down from their laptop in terms of performance and battery longetivity.
  • It's funny how you call it a flop. Yea Microsoft didn't do that well on advertising it, but the Surface Pro is a very good product (especially the 128GB) version. First of all it doesn't you the usual NAND Flash chips, but full SSD's (well maybe mSATA.) It has a 1080p screen in a 10.1" form that can be calibrated due to having a full Windows 8 OS. With calibration this tablet probably has the largest color spectrum for any tablet. The smart cover keyboard is an improvement over surface rt, and pen stylus works well. Without proper advertising the Surface Pro sold out pretty quickly. Think about it. an i5, 4GB of RAM, 128GB SSD, 1080P screen, keyboard cover, etc. You might be right and blue stack might not run well on it, but the thing has an i5 processor, so without testing it how do we know it will be slow.
  • Why such a rage against the Surface Pro? I couldn't be happier with the way it has performed for our business.
  • Played with it for 10 minutes and uninstalled. Don't really see a benefit from this unless they get the performance up-to-par and the scaling. Waste of time.
  • Hopefully this can show up on RT too! I actually love my RT tablet - which is something I never thought I would say... Windows did a fine job with their OS - now it's up to MSFT and devs to flush out what is, at the moment, a feces-filled app catalog, or apps like BlueStacks.
  • Actually it can't come to the RT, because from what I remember this BlueStack is not an app. It is an "exe" program installed through an installer like for an full Windows OS.
  • There has been a patch to allow some .exe programs to be installed on the RT. I haven't installed it yet, but I guess programs that have been compiled for arm are running on the RT, like Audacity - that was one I was most interested in, just to see.
  • Blue Stacks needs to fix there App before moving to other devices. On Windows it lags badly and freezes all the time. And many Android apps will not run at all on it.
  • AndroVM although not bug free, seems to work more reliably than bluestacks. With the new VMplayer module that adds hardware opengl 3d acceleration it is possible to play some 3d games. It also uses JB, has google play support, and can be used on any OS that supports Virtual Box, (OSX, WIN, Linux)
  • Still waiting on Linux support..
  • I suggest you try this new android emulator called andyroid (, unlike bluestacks its an actual android phone running on your desktop with access to all of the google play apps, works like a charm!