More details are spilled about how Windows 10 could soon run Android apps

Windows 10
(Image credit: Microsoft)

Windows 10 users getting to run Android apps on their desktop is a rumor which broke earlier this week, and now we’re hearing further details of how Microsoft’s purported plans could pan out.

Keep your salt shaker handy as ever with nuggets from the rumor mill, but Zac Bowden from Windows Central is one of the more reliable Microsoft sources out there, and he’s spilled a lot more info on how Project Latte – the apparent name for Microsoft’s great Android app scheme – could work.

So yes, we now have a codename, ‘Latte’, and the idea is to provide Android apps via the Microsoft Store, with developers delivering them in the form of an MSIX (a type of Windows app package).

That should facilitate Android software coming across with very little in the way of code changes needed – hopefully – which is obviously crucial when it comes to how many developers might make the effort, and Latte will seemingly be powered by Windows Subsystem for Linux under the hood.

There’s also the apparent prospect that all this could come to fruition next year, so we might not be waiting long for Project Latte to be available. In fact, there’s a possibility it could go live with the second major update for Windows 10 in 2021 (with a reveal earlier in the year, of course).

One of the sticking points could be Google Play Services support, which Bowden reckons is unlikely to be implemented with Project Latte, meaning that some key apps might not be delivered. Or if they are, they may be stripped of any Play Services components (working against that smooth and easy delivery to the Microsoft Store goal, with little work needed, as mentioned above – or potentially causing other complications).

Question marks

There are still a number of question marks over what kind of Android apps might make it across to Windows 10, then, and even though this project is apparently underway at Microsoft now, obviously remember this is just a rumor. And perhaps more to the point, it may just be experimentation – Project Latte may not work out, and might never see the light of day on Windows 10.

Much the same as the previous effort, Project Astoria (or Windows Bridge for Android). That initiative aimed to do the same thing some five years ago, but ended up being canned (as the company switched its focus to universal apps).

Right now, you can stream Android apps to your Windows 10 desktop using the Your Phone app, but that’s not quite the same as natively running them, of course, and the big stumbling block with that feature is that it’s only available for certain Samsung smartphones.

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).