Windows Phone with Android

Software giant 'seriously considering' Android app support, reports The Verge

Future Windows Phone handsets and Windows computers could run Android apps, according to a report from The Verge's Tom Warren. Citing unnamed sources, the outlet says Microsoft is "seriously considering" bringing support for Android applications to its Windows and Windows Phone operating systems. While discussions are said to be ongoing within Microsoft, and opinions within the company apparently sharply divided, the move is seen as a possible way for Windows Phone to bridge the so-called "app gap" between with Android and iOS.

Warren points out that the ubiquity of Android and its relatively strong library of apps could allow Microsoft to position Android support as a "Band-Aid" for its Windows Phone app woes. The move has echoes of BlackBerry's Android runtime, a feature which in its latest release allows BlackBerry 10 devices to run Android apps alongside native BB10 apps. Any Microsoft runtime, like BlackBerry's, would likely lack Google Play Services, and thus wouldn't offer the same APIs as an "official" Google Android device. (It's also worth considering how vastly different the design languages of Windows and Android are right now.)

Nevertheless, many companies are already working on getting Android and Windows to play nicely together, including Bluestacks and manufacturers like ASUS, with dual-OS devices. For its part, Microsoft is reported to have reached out to HTC late last year over installing Windows Phone as a dual-boot option on some of its Android phones.

Any move towards official Android app support on Windows could have far-reaching consequences for Microsoft and Google. Though the decision-making process is apparently at an early stage, it'll be interesting to see whether Microsoft decides to take a chance on Android, and if so whether it's able to turn this feature into a boost in sales and app numbers.

Source: The Verge