Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 12th Feb 2014 16:49 UTC

Major scoop by Tom Warren.

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.

Now, I have a very crazy theory about this whole thing. I obviously have no inside sources like Warren has, so load this image in another tab while reading this, but what if instead of this being an attempt to bridge the 'application gap', this is the first step in a Microsoft transition towards Android as a whole?

Much like the PC world, which eventually settled on two players, the mobile world has settled on two players: Android and iOS. It's the cold and harsh truth. Does it really make sense for Microsoft to focus all that energy on developing Windows Phone - not to a whole lot of avail so far - when they could just take Android, add their own services, and more importantly, their own very popular and ubiquitous enterprise software, and sell that instead? Microsoft actually started out as an application software provider, and not as an operating system vendor, so it's not like they would do something they're not comfortable with.

The biggest reason this crazy, unfounded theory came to my mind is that I simply cannot believe Microsoft would actually make it possible to run Android applications on Windows Phone. First, running Android applications on another platform is not exactly issue-free. Second, this has not exactly helped BlackBerry (and Sailfish, for that matter) either. Third, Windows Phone (and Windows 8 Metro) are already afterthoughts for developers, nothing more than mere side-projects in between iOS and Android work. Why would any of them develop native applications if they can just send their already completed APK to Microsoft? It'd be the death of Windows Phone and Metro.

Combined with the news that Nokia's Android phone is actually going to come out, it wouldn't surprise me at all if Microsoft is thinking about phasing out Windows Phone, with the ability to run Android applications on the platform as a first step in this migration.

There are major issues with such an approach, of course, not least of which the problem Amazon has also run into: no Google Play Services, meaning several popular applications won't run at all. If you're truly, truly outrageous, you could even consider a pact between Microsoft and Google, a combined effort that would take some possible antitrust heat off Google's back, and would give them a united front against Apple and iOS. Even this has precedent: unlike what some think, Microsoft and Apple have a long history of close cooperation. There's no reason Microsoft wouldn't do it again, if needed.

In any case, this is all very interesting stuff, and it shows just how much of a problem the lack of any presence in the mobile world has become for Microsoft. The new CEO has some very tough calls to make.

Thread beginning with comment 582855
To view parent comment, click here.
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
RE: Android on Blackberry
by grantpalin on Wed 12th Feb 2014 19:44 UTC in reply to "Android on Blackberry"
Member since:

Z10 user here. Running Android apps on BB10 was possible from release, though said apps had to be repackaged, then sideloaded via a computer. Performance and stability were so-so.

With the recent 10.2.1 update, it's possible to install Android apps directly, without repackaging or sideloading. In fact, the Amazon store can be installed and Android apps downloaded through that. Also, there is a BB10 app called Snap which connects to Google Play, and allows download via a Google account. Performance is better than it was, though still spotty in some cases.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[2]: Android on Blackberry
by Adurbe on Thu 13th Feb 2014 14:01 in reply to "RE: Android on Blackberry"
Adurbe Member since:

how is the compatibility? Are we talking you can install but only 1-% of apps actually work properly and/or feel native

Reply Parent Score: 2

missingxtension Member since:

ITs actually dammed good. All the way down to the android slow downs. You can even install launchers. But you get real multi tasking android support, the blackberry way, with a real task manager that shows cpu and memory and actually manages task. To make things even sweeter you have flash built into the system, and it runs like a desktop browser. You cant get root though, but then again you dont need it. I use my wives s4 to patch apks and remove ads, because of the root problem. And again I dont need root because I usually install su to manange apps, and get rid of the launcher and stupid allshare crao and carrier manufacturer bloat and to use zeam and get rid of app drawer, multiple home screens and turn on gestures. In other words bb10 is more like what I have been using android ever since zeam launcher came out. Swipe from bottom to bring up drawer.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Android on Blackberry
by grantpalin on Fri 14th Feb 2014 00:53 in reply to "RE[2]: Android on Blackberry"
grantpalin Member since:

So far pretty good. I've successfully installed about ten apps from Google Play. Of those, one refuses to work. The rest do work fairly well. They don't use the BB10 native UI of course, but there are many BB10 native apps that don't either.

Reply Parent Score: 2