Microsoft shelves plans for Windows 10 Mobile Android app emulator

Remember when Microsoft boasted about launching a tool that will enable apps from other platforms mainly Android and iOS to be played on Windows 10 Mobiles, well, as it seems much awaited launch isn’t going to see the light of the day anytime soon or ever for that matter. Android emulator that was named Astoria by Microsoft is all but shelved as things appear to have derailed from the plan.

Reliable source for Microsoft related news Windows Central has reported that according to their information Project Astoria has been set aside for now at least or may even get axed altogether by Microsoft sighting various complications in porting Android apps. If rumors are anything to go by, it seems that latest Windows 10 Preview Build 10586.29 has effectively detached support for Android subsystem.

Question arises why Microsoft decided to tread in murky waters and went ahead with the project Astoria in the first place? Well, the answer is quite evident, Microsoft’s Mobile platform does not have the support of major app developers, who it appears seem ambivalent in investing resources and time to produce apps for a platform that barely holds 3% global smartphone market share.

Market is rife with rumors behind suspension of Astoria, one reason could be that dedicated Windows developers were disgruntled at Microsoft cozying up to Android platform with Astoria. Other reason might well be incompatibility of Android subsystem on Windows 10.

According to Windows Central, a Microsoft Spokesperson said:

“We are committed to offering developers many options to bring their apps to the Windows Platform, including bridges available now for Web and iOS, and soon Win32. The Astoria bridge is not ready yet, but other tools offer great options for developers.”

Only a handful of emulators that are currently available play non-native apps without glitches and crashes or have app optimization features. BlueStacks is the only Android emulator that plays fully optimized Android games and apps on Windows PC and that too is available only for desktops and laptops, it doesn’t play third-party apps on Windows 10 Phone.

Microsoft is in a tight spot when it comes to luring investing towards its platform because of ever worsening decline in the shipment of Windows Phones. BlackBerry dabbled with Android apps support on its phone to a disastrous effect as most Android apps were either not optimized properly or not compatible with its ecosystem. BlackBerry’s experience might have played a part in Microsoft’s decision of pulling the plug on Astoria. But nothing can be said for sure until official Microsoft announcement, keep watching this space for staying updated with further developments.

Sources: Windows Central, Extreme Tech


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