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Microsoft "seriously considers" bringing Android apps to Windows Phone

Rumors by Andrew Kameka on Wednesday February 12, 2014.

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Please note that this story is based upon rumor and/or speculation.
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Microsoft might do the unthinkable - make it possible for Android apps to run on its Windows Phone operating. That's the word of Tom Warren of The Verge, a Microsoft insider with a solid reputation when it comes to news concerning products out of Redmond. Warren stresses that this is just a consideration and not a definite avenue that Microsoft might pursue. 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.

Warren writes:

Sources familiar with Microsoft?s plans tell The Verge that the company is seriously considering allowing Android apps to run on both Windows and Windows Phone. While planning is ongoing and it's still early, we?re told that 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.

Radical would be an understatement. I personally believe that Microsoft officially supporting Android apps is accepting defeat in the mobile market. It would all but eliminate the desire for developers to build Windows apps if they can hastily port their Android titles. That's what happened when BlackBerry decided to load Android apps in a special runtime, and the developer support for native BB10 apps has yet to materialize a year later. While Microsoft continues to struggle to get feature and release parity with Android or iOS, Windows Phone has at least achieved near app parity. It might get native apps late in the game, but they at least arrive. Supporting Android apps, as Warren's sources say the company might consider, would be a death sentence for any hope of Windows Phone growing into becoming a stronger app resource.

Another possibility floated is that someone else might take on the task of supporting Android on Windows. Intel and Bluestacks have already been working to offer Android on Windows through virtualization, and Warren states that Intel has urged Microsoft to further support Android on its OS. Were newly-installed CEO Satya Nadella to agree to that strategy, the Windows Phone landscape could change dramatically.

source: The Verge

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