AMD and BlueStacks team up to bring 500K Android apps to Windows 8 desktop

One of the biggest knocks that critics like to sling against Windows Phone is that there aren't enough apps available when compared to Apple and Android. Well, a new deal between chip maker AMD and software developer BlueStacks will ensure that the same cannot be said for Windows 8. The two companies have agreed to work together on bringing around 500,000 Android apps to Microsoft's upcoming operating system for PCs and tablets using AMD's AppZone Player.

By updating code in their processors and graphics chips, AMD has made it possible for apps designed for mobiles devices to look good on the larger displays of PCs and tablets. They hope that this will lure consumers to AMD-powered devices, rather than those running Intel chips.

"This helps AMD leapfrog Intel by making Windows 8 more attractive on their tablets and PCs," BlueStacks CEO Rosen Sharma told Wired. "We've worked closely together to optimise the performance of the apps for AMD's unique 'graphics and computing on one chip' setup. The result is awesome -- mobile apps run beautifully on their machines."

Apps that run in AppZone will also allow users to save information between devices. So if you are playing a game on your PC, you can pick up where you last saved on your mobile device. All AMD-powered Windows 8 devices will come with the AppZone player pre-installed. And if that weren't good enough, consumers who currently have a Windows 7 device with an AMD processor under the hood can run AppZone player now.

This is a brilliant move on AMD's part to capitalize on Windows 8 before it's even released and could be a huge lift for Microsoft as well. If only we could magically bring all those apps over to the Windows Phone Store. SHAZAM!

Source: BBC, Wired; Via: CNET

Seth Brodeur
  • Gotta get this going for WP8!!
  • That is an impressive engineering feat. I don't want Android apps anywhere near me, but I'm sure it's great for lots of folks.
  • Exactly this. BlueStacks will only encourage the development of Android apps, meaning that developers who were potentially eye-ing Windows 8 will simply develop for Android as they can both cover the Android and Windows ecosystems. Two brids with one stone. 
  • YESSSS!!!! :) Hope Qualcomm does some thing similar for WP8
  • Checkmark on the spec sheet so it doesn't get dismissed right out of the gate. Like that silly "# of processor cores" thing.
  • I don't think so !
  • This is good news even though I never used that many apps on my old Android device. Good job!!! Hopefully WP8 is next.
  • no thank you
  • So is this some sort of android emulator running in windows?
  • Waoooooooooooo, W8 is going to be huge.
  • Take out the first sentence.
  • Funny, these apps didnt seem to bring android tablets any huge sales, why would anyone want them on a Windows 8 device when they dont use the UI that is one of the biggest selling points in the first place? And this is bad for Windows devs since they will have no incentive to make new apps if people are just going to run old android apps anyway.
    I really dont see how this will be a "huge lift" for Windows 8, more like an albatross round its neck.
  • +1
    was thinking abt the incentive part myself...these android apps won't make use of the tiles or the might be like using one of those Gameboy Emulators...!
  • Well, probably they'll do something similar to Adobe Air, which actually allows users to run many tablet and smartphone apps on a computer. I don't know how it works, but it works well, and it's really smooth and easy to use.
    Let's wait and see what will they come up with :)
  • Wow, gotta try that when I get home since I have an AMD Phenom II x6 1100T in my gaming rig.
  • I think they would be better served designing cross platform compatibility between apps on the different OSes (spelling?).
  • I know you guys may see this as bad, since their apps are not exactly the best .. but it can sure help W8 and even WP8.
    Everybody says: 'it lacks on apps..'
    They don't care about quality, they want quantity. I think 500,000 is a pretty good number. Even if half of them suck.
  • Even if 90% of them are useless, this would finally shut down the 'there's lack of apps in WP' comment. You then get to install and run (and pay for) what you need and want...
  • I don't really want Android apps but if this helps get more people to adopt AMD and W8 I'm for it!
  • Seriously, if this is the best AMD can bring to the table for Windows 8 they are better off dead. Intel are behind Ultrabooks which define a new class of computers, how is AMD pushing the PC forward just by porting android apps to Windows? Have to ask, why not just buy an android tablet in the first place?
  • Better off dead? Oh yes, I really want to return to the good old days when Intel had no major competition and innovated less while selling processors for 1-2k because they could. Not that I am thrilled with this either, but they have to gain an edge wherever they can. AMD cannot keep up with Intel's larger budget and r&d facilities. Hopefully there is more to this than meets the eye.
  • Intel still has stiff competition...ARM.
  • ARM doesn't count until it has proven itself on the big dog's turf. Mobile devices and mobile apps are one thing, but they will be fighting to climb up this mountain. X86 still is by far the dominant force in computer processing. But one day, that very well may change.
  • The biggest problem is Android apps aren't windows 8 or windows phone 8 apps. They aren't the same quality, WP apps are build in vector, and look good in any resolution. Second metro theme is important to keep the consistence of the platform.
    We don't want emulations, we want real w8/wp7-8 apps. Sorry AMD you didn't think this through.
  • Yes, I can just see how amazing the experience will be of running apps designed in someone's back room for a device with a 4 inch screen, on a mouse driven laptop with a 15 in screen.  FWIW though, I think they probably did think it through but that it is really just a publicity stunt. 
  • Big hint guys - it's not limited to running on AMD processors at all. I've been running BlueStacks on my Intel/NVIDIA laptop no problem at all, works a treat. ;-)
  • This already existed back in the dev preview of 8 actually. Someone made a homebrew app that can access the android market, download and run the apps. Not sure if AMD is pretending that never happened, or..
  • ...or they teamed up with that developer who made that (BlueStacks) for this offering. which is exactly what they did ;)
  • Bluestacks already enables Android apps on windows.. So it sounds like AMD just saying they will make an optimized version specifically for their processors. :/
    What we need is a Windows RT version!!! That would be something to cheer about!
  • Bluestacks has been spewing the same marketing BS about "bringing Android" to the Windows desktop for over a year.   They have still only delivered something that barely works and has access to handful of apps.  I expect that if this ever came close to being a reality, both Microsoft and Google would engage in some efforts to derail it.  Microsoft finally has a very secure OS and an innovative touch interface, so what would be more fun than exposing it to all of the security issues that go along with Android and over which they would have no control.  I also just do not see the point.  You are going to buy a Windows based machine, most of which are mouse-driven, and then run toch driven apps for which there are actual native alterntives (at least for anything worth having).  To look at it another way, say you either have a desktop or laptop that can run the current version of Office, or a tablet that will come with the RT version of Office; are you really going to want Docs to Go or OfficeSuite? BTW, of those 500.000 apps, many barely run on Android tablets, and lots are just garbage.  Personally though, I think it is still just a marketing ploy to try to sucker investors into giving the company money.
  • Not sure what I think about this. One of the things that attracts me to WP is how the apps integrate visually into the WP design. Lets leave Android's chaos in Android and make real, beautiful WP apps. 
    On, the other hand, there's a couple of Android apps I miss and the devs have made it clear they have no intention of developing for WP. 
  • This reminds me of the BlackBerry Playbook running android apps. I actually have a Playbook and rarely use those apps cause they're slow and buggy. I think I'll be fine with my new i7 Lenovo.
  • this is a really interesting move by AMD, I didn't think they still have anything left in them
    even though I don't really care for Android apps, but lets not forget that this does fill a void for a good percentage of users... the only thing I'm worried about is app developers becoming less likely to code for Win8 primarily because if they code for Android it can be ported over to Win8, but alas I think I'm thinking too much
  • Trying it out on my Intel based PC now, and the apps run fine, but the menus are a little buggy. Too bad I don't have touch though, because that experience needs to be flawless, I would be fun to try out. We'll see in a month.
  • Yes yes, they are Android apps and not Windows modern style apps, but... at least maybe we can have access to key apps that are not available to Windows 8 (and Windows Phone) while we wait who knows how long for them to land natively.
  • Android apps on my Windows desktop and tablet? No thanks. One of the biggest areas where Android is seriously lacking is tablet apps. 
  • This is a bad move as far as I'm concerned... why would we want laggy, ugly and spammy Android apps clogging up our eco-system and potentially ruining Windows 8/WP8's synergies...?
  • Maybe for games that'll never go wp8. Otherwise I'd rather back real Wp8/7 development.
  • Regardless of critics, 500,000 apps is incredibly enormous. Android apps or no, I'm a fan. (How much is MS paying them?!?)
  • It seems rosy at first, but essentially you start to get into the "porting" problem that PC gamers and console gamers talk about. Granted, most games won't show much of a difference but the ones that take advantage of wp7 or even wp8 native code will have an advantage. I hope we get those versions instead and I will support those unique apps. Apps like Cocktail Flow that showcase metro are beautiful, smooth and standout against anything the other platforms have to offer. If you pay for an emulation what are you telling the developers on Android looking at the Windows SoC platforms?
  • they want you to support android even if you are not getting android tablets
    they want developers to keep their focus on android
    im buying windows tablet so its clearly i don't want android
  • +1
  • The HD scaling is only available on AMD Fusion and Radeon graphics. (Good to go with AMD for once!)
  • I actually used Bluestacks on my AMD APU powered Acer W500 tablet running Windows 8. (whew!)!
    Even if, let's say, they optimize the code to utilize the silicon properly, we're still looking at code, within a shell, running in a VM, in a sandbox!!
    The only good thing I can say about it is, at least it's there! (for those that may wish to demo that one Android app and see what it's all about).
    But I can say, in no way do I consider it an apealing feature for Windows 8 (other than it is still Windows, which can run anything, even on a tablet!)
  • Cross platform developed apps are always shit.
  • This is neat but also a gimmick except for a very select few people who would find it useful...  If it were Windows RT and Windows Phone 8 that would be a different story.
    I could see myself using it though to play a couple games that are on android phones!
  • Just give us Game Dev Story and Scribblenauts Remix and I'll be happy.  That's all I need from the iOS/Android world.