Windows Phone has made leaps and bounds when it comes to app availability, at least compared to the state of the platform just a couple years back. But despite the success Microsoft’s found at courting devs, its work is far from over, and there’s still a ton of catch-up work to do. The forthcoming arrival of Windows 10 seeks to help close the app gap with its focus on universal apps, giving devs broader access to Windows users across form factors, but will that be enough? A new report claims that Microsoft’s been working on a backup plan to bring new software to its smartphones, by giving them Android app compatibility.
Running Android apps on another platform is nothing new – Blackberry’s probably the most prominent example of a competitor’s OS that does just that. Supposedly Microsoft’s been working to bring Windows 10 the same support for a while now, and while the project’s said to be currently functioning with a large number of Android apps, the feature may not make it into the final commercial release.
Why not? Sources point to two avenues that could lead to this effort being shelved. Microsoft is reportedly worried about the legal implications of the manner in which it’s making this compatibility happen. We don’t get to hear the technical details, but whatever it’s up to, there’s a fear that it could lead to a lawsuit from Google.
There’s also the question of developer relations, and with all the work Microsoft’s put in to convincing devs to devote the time and effort in bringing software to Windows Phone, opening up the Android floodgates and exposing the WP user base to boatloads of software from coders who never gave Microsoft’s platform a second thought could be seen as a bit of a slap in the face. That, in turn, could harm Windows 10’s native app prospects.
For all the ways this could easily see itself never happening, it’s a tantalizing idea. Do you think Android app support could breathe new life into Microsoft’s smartphone platform, or would it only mark the beginning of the end?