Microsoft might do the unthinkable – make it possible for Android apps to run on it’s Windows Phone operating. The company is seriously considering opening up its desktop and mobile ecosystems. However, it is an option on the table, a surprising notion given that Microsoft has invested billions of dollars into transitioning Windows Mobile into Windows Phone in the hopes that it might compete with Android.
The software giant is apparently divided over the idea, with some inside Microsoft favor the idea of simply enabling Android apps inside its Windows and Windows Phone Stores, while others believe it could lead to the death of the Windows platform altogether. The mixed (and strong) feelings internally highlight that Microsoft will need to be careful with any radical move.
Compared to the million-plus apps available in both the Apple App Store and Google Play Store, Windows Phone only recently crossed the 200,000 mark. And even as the OS continues to gain momentum, this doesn’t look like a trend that’s likely to end any time soon. But it’s not just the number of apps that matter. It’s the fact that many developers aren’t even considering writing for Windows Phone alongside iOS and Android. And without enough developers, Windows Phone will never truly emerge as a “must-have” platform.
The biggest issue that Microsoft needs to address is to prevent erosion of developers’ and consumers’ trust in the Windows Phone platform, which is lagging behind Android and iOS in terms of both features as well as apps.
Microsoft reportedly doesn’t want to support an additional platform, so it’s likely it will use a third-party “enabler” to distribute the Android apps if they were actually to come to Windows. A prime candidate is Intel, who has been testing a dual OS Windows and Android concept. There’s also BlueStacks, a company that enables Android apps to run on Windows PCs.
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