Seeking Alpha

Report: Microsoft thinking of allowing Android apps on Windows/WP

  • Sources tell The Verge, which has provided plenty of Microsoft (MSFT +1%) scoops over the last two years, the software giant is "seriously considering allowing Android apps to run on both Windows and Windows Phone."
  • Employees are said to be very divided, with some going as far as to support having Android apps in the Windows/WP app stores, and others fearing doing so "could lead to the death of the Windows platform altogether."
  • The report comes a month after Intel (INTC +0.5%) and its OEM partners showed off Android/Windows hybrids at CES, albeit without either Microsoft or Google's backing. It also comes amid reports Nokia is planning to launch a low-end Android phone featuring Microsoft/Nokia services and a Windows Phone-like UI.
  • Many already expect new CEO Satya Nadella to shake up Microsoft's mobile strategy, with an eye towards increasing support for rival mobile platforms. The Verge doesn't have any details on Nadella's views on the matter.
  • Android app support would allow Microsoft to tap into a developer ecosystem that easily surpasses the ones for Windows Phone and Metro-style Windows apps. If it happens, Google's Android apps/services almost certainly won't be part of the package.
From other sites
Comments (27)
  • Yokyok
    , contributor
    Comments (330) | Send Message
     
    you can already do that. http://bit.ly/sDEwWR
    but why would you buy a windows phone to run android apps?
    right. you wouldn't.
    12 Feb 2014, 01:55 PM Reply Like
  • wil3714
    , contributor
    Comments (2135) | Send Message
     
    Thats because Android has hella bugs
    12 Feb 2014, 03:50 PM Reply Like
  • wookietim
    , contributor
    Comments (3) | Send Message
     
    You'd buy the windows phone because, point blank, the windows UI is actually a slightly better experience than Android has. Nothing against Android (I own a Samsung Galaxy S3 after all) but the Windows UI with the live tiles setup is just nicer than Android has.
    14 Feb 2014, 03:35 PM Reply Like
  • wookietim
    , contributor
    Comments (3) | Send Message
     
    Because Windows phones have a nicer UI. I use Android myself, but the Windows UI of live tiles and cleaner interface rules just looks, point blank, better than Android.
    14 Feb 2014, 03:35 PM Reply Like
  • Matthew Davis
    , contributor
    Comments (4555) | Send Message
     
    I hated swiping back and forth all the time. Widgets rarely work or update and it just doesn't last all day and need to download a suite of utility apps just to keep it running. Android is a headache.
    14 Feb 2014, 05:19 PM Reply Like
  • David653
    , contributor
    Comments (2786) | Send Message
     
    Well BlackBerry is doing it
    14 Feb 2014, 06:26 PM Reply Like
  • Matthew Davis
    , contributor
    Comments (4555) | Send Message
     
    Blackberry is dead because the OS sucks and no one wants one. Not because of android apps.

     

    The only reason BBRY made it at all was its email app, and now any phone can do that.
    16 Feb 2014, 07:52 AM Reply Like
  • wil3714
    , contributor
    Comments (2135) | Send Message
     
    Its security features are it major advantage. The president wont even use an IPhone
    16 Feb 2014, 08:09 AM Reply Like
  • LYogi
    , contributor
    Comments (2629) | Send Message
     
    BB10 has now leapfrogged iOS and Android but you wouldn't know that until you have a Z30 in your hands.
    16 Feb 2014, 09:57 AM Reply Like
  • Matthew Davis
    , contributor
    Comments (4555) | Send Message
     
    Not true at all. Windows Phone also offers fully encrypted email.
    16 Feb 2014, 08:54 PM Reply Like
  • Matthew Davis
    , contributor
    Comments (4555) | Send Message
     
    What do you mean by leapfrogged them?
    16 Feb 2014, 08:54 PM Reply Like
  • LYogi
    , contributor
    Comments (2629) | Send Message
     
    I mean that BB10's current functionality has already surpassed iOS and Android and it has only been a year.

     

    One only has to try typing on the BB10 virtual keyboard to see the evolution in effect.
    17 Feb 2014, 12:17 AM Reply Like
  • Matthew Davis
    , contributor
    Comments (4555) | Send Message
     
    Too little too late, and your assertion is highly subjective.
    17 Feb 2014, 03:33 PM Reply Like
  • LYogi
    , contributor
    Comments (2629) | Send Message
     
    considering that BB 10.2.1 has already swallowed up the Android ecosystem I beg to differ!

     

    The Future is Black
    17 Feb 2014, 07:43 PM Reply Like
  • Matthew Davis
    , contributor
    Comments (4555) | Send Message
     
    LYogi,

     

    You seem to be the only one saying this. Do you think Blackberry 10 will outsell Android?
    18 Feb 2014, 12:02 PM Reply Like
  • LYogi
    , contributor
    Comments (2629) | Send Message
     
    yes I do. Eventually. give it 5 years.

     

    What would you rather have, an Android phone that is full of holes security-wise or a BB10 device that can run Andorid in a sandbox with the enormous added functionality that BB10 brings to the table?

     

    It is a clear answer and one in which the general market will wake up to in time.
    18 Feb 2014, 12:34 PM Reply Like
  • Matthew Davis
    , contributor
    Comments (4555) | Send Message
     
    LYogi

     

    Blackberry is trying to sell itself. BB10 will not be around in 5 years.
    19 Feb 2014, 09:45 AM Reply Like
  • LYogi
    , contributor
    Comments (2629) | Send Message
     
    you are still stuck in September 2013.

     

    times have changed company no longer is for sale.
    19 Feb 2014, 01:38 PM Reply Like
  • Matthew Davis
    , contributor
    Comments (4555) | Send Message
     
    Oh ya that was so long ago...Nokia said it wasn't selling to Microsoft 3 times also.

     

    They didn't sell because no one would buy them, not because they decided not to sell, I think you should read more about Blackberry and comment less about how you feel about your BB10. It is a nice phone, but its a massive flop.
    19 Feb 2014, 03:06 PM Reply Like
  • LYogi
    , contributor
    Comments (2629) | Send Message
     
    way too early to pass judgment, it had a rough intro last year but old beliefs (i.e. BB's aren't smartphones) are hard to beat.

     

    but in time, the truth will prevail.

     

    doesn't hurt to have deep pockets backing you and partners like Foxconn managing production and inventory.
    19 Feb 2014, 07:00 PM Reply Like
  • SquareHead
    , contributor
    Comments (91) | Send Message
     
    Sound to me like a good idea. Allowing Windows to run Android apps and Apple apps would be a great idea. Go big or go home.
    12 Feb 2014, 01:58 PM Reply Like
  • Chris Lau
    , contributor
    Comments (2923) | Send Message
     
    (BBRY) is already doing this. After installing Snap, installing any android app (except google ones, which needs additional credentials) on BB10 is very easy. Microsoft should observe BBRY: if it's not working for BB, MS could nix the idea.
    12 Feb 2014, 02:43 PM Reply Like
  • King Rat
    , contributor
    Comments (1002) | Send Message
     
    Chris Lau, you are 100% correct. Not only Blackberry but also OS/2 lost in part by allowing compatibility with a competitor's apps (ironically Windows) meant developers on a budget could maximize compatibility and minimize cost by just developing for the competitor's OS.

     

    Then users will say, "why buy the phone that runs Android at 80% speed and 90% compatibility when we can just buy the Android phone at 100% speed and 100% compatibility?"
    12 Feb 2014, 03:52 PM Reply Like
  • Mike K D
    , contributor
    Comments (41) | Send Message
     
    With some exceptions, most apps for which the developers created versions for Apple, Android, Windows and Blackberry look and have similar functionality once installed on phones running those platforms. For such a scenario, why would a user interested only in those apps buy one phone over the others since the apps work the same? Now let's extrapolate: assuming you can install apps cross-platform and assuming the performance does not decrease significantly, does it really make a difference to the user if an app was developed for the native OS of the user's phone, or it's a cross-platform? The app just works and looks the same. If things go in that direction then the phone OS war will be more focused on unique features offered by each OS and phone make (i.e. that cannot be "migrated" to another OS, like hardware quality, security, GUI, human interfaces like fingerprint, eye scanner, hardware-accelerated voice recognition, hardware-accelerated / OS boosted graphics etc.). In my opinion allowing Android apps on Win Mobile doesn't necessarily have to kill the Win platform, but can actually boost its popularity through the huge jump in app availability, ASSUMING that Win Mobile as an OS can come up with some amazing features and Win Mobile phone manufacturers produce phones that stand out. Now that MS can actually built their own phones they can really hit two birds with one stone and control the innovation both on hardware and OS. Subject to being able to progress such innovation and excell at executing on strategy, of course. I am really interested in anyone's thoughts on this topic.
    13 Feb 2014, 03:06 PM Reply Like
  • Matthew Davis
    , contributor
    Comments (4555) | Send Message
     
    Amazing features like a 41MP camera phone? Or my L925 that has HD video with stereo microphones with noise cancellation technology, and steady cam lenses technology? Or maybe the fact that it doesn't need to be coddled in an otterbox that makes it has big as a phablet...nah what features are those?... retina display is a marketing word to make an HD screen sound ooh ah. Razzmatazz, there is nothing a Windows phone can't do that an android or iPhone can, so the inclusion of Android on WP store would be a good thing. I have heard from many friends and coworkers that want a Lumia, but they are strapped in by the android apps that WP doesn't have.
    14 Feb 2014, 10:11 AM Reply Like
  • marv09
    , contributor
    Comments (294) | Send Message
     
    It's really a catch-22... WP and BB OS 10 are largely ignored by developers and the situation gets worse, not better. Just look at the recent set of new cars and cameras, remote and service apps on Android and iOS for virtually everything, WP and BB nowhere to be found. Buying a WP or BB phone makes you a part of the last decade. But looking at BB... Supporting Android apps has certainly not helped them at all (even less developer support and no additional sales either).

     

    Plus, it opens a completely new can of worms. Android's security model (granting all demanded rights to an app on installation) is vastly inferior to all competitors, but apps without access to hardware features (camera, sensors, GPS) and data (addresses, calendar, photos etc.) are almost certainly useless...

     

    Plus, there is another huge dilemma... How can you maintain a curated own app store (and impose rules on your developers) while side loaders from other ecosystems will be free to do whatever they want (and eventually bypass all revenue sharing, too)?

     

    I see too many problems here. If they want to go that route, killing WP and bringing their app franchises and services to all platforms would be the better idea.
    12 Feb 2014, 04:03 PM Reply Like
  • Compute_This
    , contributor
    Comments (52) | Send Message
     
    They should do it, precisely because it is so unexpected. It would be a move that said "customers, we respect your right to choose, but we still want you on our phones!"

     

    What is so different about this idea from the PC workstation platform paradigm, where anyone can purchase and install "non-Microsoft-curated" applications? No one really gives that a second thought.

     

    What is twisted is the fact that, because Apple got the app developer ecosystem set up before anyone else, that we are currently living with their view of the world, one in which they control everything and take profit from every app downloaded. Why should this model continue to rule the day? Frankly, it sucks.

     

    If Microsoft actually did this, it would definitely represent that radical change may in fact be coming to that organization. Hallelujah!
    12 Feb 2014, 04:13 PM Reply Like
DJIA (DIA) S&P 500 (SPY)
ETF Hub
ETF Screener: Search and filter by asset class, strategy, theme, performance, yield, and much more
ETF Performance: View ETF performance across key asset classes and investing themes
ETF Investing Guide: Learn how to build and manage a well-diversified, low cost ETF portfolio
ETF Selector: An explanation of how to select and use ETFs