Android apps on Windows? Microsoft might let it happen

Microsoft Surface
Just try to picture Android apps on your Surface tablet

Microsoft may have a solution in the works for its Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 app deficit, but some inside the company reportedly aren't on board yet.

It's simple: Microsoft's desktop, tablet and smartphone operating systems lack the bustling app ecosystem of a platform like, say, Android - so why not enable Android apps to run on Windows and Windows Phone devices?

That's exactly what the company is considering, according to The Verge, which spoke with "sources familiar with Microsoft's plans." But these sources report that Microsoft executives are torn, with some of the mindset that the long-term risks might outweigh the benefits.

Besides, as The Verge points out, this has been tried before - by BlackBerry - and it didn't work then. Why would it now?

Forking Android over

Of course, Microsoft is not BlackBerry. That much is obvious.

And if Microsoft is really letting Nokia, which it bought in 2013, go ahead with the Finnish phone maker's "Normandy" Android device, then the Windows company is clearly not totally repulsed by the idea of using Android for its own means.

Of course, the most recent report suggests that the Nokia Android phone will ship without many of the Google apps and services typically found on Android devices - including the Google Play Store itself - in favor of Nokia- and Microsoft-built alternatives.

But The Verge's sources say Microsoft doesn't want to deal with the hassle of creating its own "fork" of Android, and that simply enabling Android apps to run on Windows might be an easier solution in the short term.

To that end the site suggests Microsoft might work with BlueStacks, a company that for years has been enable Android apps to run on Windows devices.

Whatever happens, it seems Microsoft is at least considering taking drastic measures to solve its app deficit, which may be a sign of just how desperate things have become for Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8.

  • Here's what TechRadar thought of Microsoft's latest OS update, Windows 8.1.
Michael Rougeau

Michael Rougeau is a former freelance news writer for TechRadar. Studying at Goldsmiths, University of London, and Northeastern University, Michael has bylines at Kotaku, 1UP, G4, Complex Magazine, Digital Trends, GamesRadar, GameSpot, IFC, Animal New York, @Gamer, Inside the Magic, Comic Book Resources, Zap2It, TabTimes, GameZone, Cheat Code Central, Gameshark, Gameranx, The Industry, Debonair Mag, Kombo, and others.

Micheal also spent time as the Games Editor for, and was the managing editor at GameSpot before becoming an Animal Care Manager for Wags and Walks.