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Microsoft mulls to let Android apps to run on Windows platforms

In a desperate move to popularize its mobile platforms in general and Windows Phone platform in particular among those who already use smartphones running the Android operating system, Microsoft Corp. may let applications designed for Google’s mobile OS to run on Windows and to be sold using Windows Store.

Microsoft Windows Phone platform remains a minor player on the smartphone market despite of all the efforts to popularize it. Some believe that the software giant needs to make a breakthrough move to finally kick start the growth of its mobile platforms. One of such potential moves is to make Windows Phone and Windows RT free for handset/tablet makers either for a while or forever. But, apparently, there are people inside Microsoft who believe that the company should just allow Google Android apps to run on Windows Phone and perhaps even Windows 8, reports The Verge.

The Redmond, Washington-based software maker is mulling to add Google Android apps into Windows Stores and allow them to be executed on different devices running various Windows operating systems. Technically, it is not a problem even now since Windows can run virtual machines and therefore Android apps. If Microsoft invents a way to run software designed for Google’s mobile OS more “natively” on Windows, it will be even easier for developers to add their programs to Microsoft’s virtual app stores and sell them to owners of Windows-based hardware.

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The main benefit that Microsoft is going to get by letting Android apps to run on Windows Phone/Windows RT/Windows 8 is a pool of fine software that is already popular among the end-users. Theoretically, this might end the competition between Android and Windows/Windows Phone when it comes to the number of supported apps. Moreover, those buyers who previously wanted only Android will now pay attention to Windows Phone/Windows as well.

However, the idea has numerous drawbacks as well. The competition within Windows app store increases and those developers who use Metro interface will likely drop it in favour of unified UI for both Android and Windows. This might hurt adoption of Windows 8 on the PC.

Microsoft did not comment on the news-story.

KitGuru: Being unable to compete against Google Android because of numerous reasons, Microsoft is trying to avoid direct competition where it can. A logical idea. The problem is that both Windows 8 and Windows Phone have already got their reputation and that part is going to be a hard one to fix.

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