Ever since Microsoft announced their Bridge technologies at Build 2015 questions about how they work (and how well) have been asked. The tools let developers port over Android apps (Project Astoria), iOS apps (Project Islandwood), web apps (Project Westminster) and classic Win32 apps (Project Centennial) to Windows 10 including phone.
This morning, the actual tools for Project Astoria have leaked onto the web and users can freely (and illegally) download Android APKs and sideload them to their Windows Phone running Windows 10 Mobile. This follows yesterday’s leak of the documentation for the project.
Project Astoria is fascinating. If you look at the leaked documenation, you’ll see Microsoft is running (parts of) the Android subsystem and Linux kernel in kernel mode. This should be nice for performance, but at the same time, it doesn’t seem like something that’ll be good from a security standpoint.
The leaked documentation also explains that in Project Astoria, all activities belong to a back stack within a single task. In regular Android, activities can belong to different tasks, with their own back stacks. If I’m reading this right (and please, do correct me if I’m wrong – this isn’t exactly my expertise), this should simplify the back button behaviour – and is probably a consequence of Project Astoria only being able to run one process at a time.
Another fun part of Astoria: there’s a WebKit rendering engine in there. Yes, Windows 10 Mobile will have a WebKit rendering engine. Fascinating.