Why Microsoft should be worried about Android apps on Chrome OS

Chromebook
Chromebook (Image credit: Windows Central)

Google this week is holding their big I/O conference. Much like Microsoft's Build Google uses the event to talk about the future of its various – and increasingly divergent – product lines (See Google I/O 2016 Day 2: Everything you need to know).

Perhaps the biggest announcement that may affect Microsoft is the impending ability for users to run Android apps on Chrome OS. Considering there are over a million Android apps available that is a huge windfall for a cloud OS like Chrome, which up until now didn't have any apps.

We have talked about convergence before in computing and Google is approaching it from the other end when compared to Microsoft. So, does Microsoft now have something to be worried about? Yes, the do.

The rise of Chrome OS…in schools

Tech enthusiasts and consumers have mostly ignored Google's Chrome OS, but that is slowly changing. More importantly, the biggest area in which Google is having success with Chrome OS is with schools.

The reason for the rise is precisely because the OS cannot install apps and IT departments can lockdown and secure Chromebooks with ease, especially compared to Windows. Sure, Windows can do – way more – but Chromebooks offers school districts a cheap and efficient way to meet basic computing needs on a budget. In the US, where school districts are already under tremendous pressure from an electorate uninterested in infrastructure, Chrome OS is hard to shrug off.

To put all of this in perspective, more Chromebooks were sold in the first quarter of 2016 than all of Apple's OS X, at least according to IDC. A firm number would be close to 2 million units sold. That's the first time such a feat has happened and ignoring Chrome OS is no longer feasible.

Chromebooks outsold Macs last quarter for the first time

The longer term story is more dangerous for Microsoft. By reaching so many children early on with Chrome OS and hooking them on Google's services, or at least familiarizing them with the tech, Google is slowly cornering a new generation of converts.

A lot of people use Windows today because it is what they always used. More often than not your first computer was a Windows device, but now that is changing with declining PC sales and the slow rise of Chromebooks. And let's face it, Microsoft has lost the youth market for smartphones, which is the one area in computing that is doing well these days.

Android apps on Chrome OS

Google announced that later in 2016 people will be able to run full Android apps on their Chromebooks (specifically, these). It will all be done through the addition of the Google Play Store to those devices, although schools can opt-out by not letting that happen keeping that market safe for now. Ars Technica does a very good job of explaining how Google achieved this feat and it's worth a read.

The main takeaway is that developers will not have to do much to get their apps onto Chrome OS. Those apps run through containers and offer split-view and floating window app sizes instead of any awkward stretching. More tools for developers will be arriving with Android N this summer.

Considering there are 1.5 million Android apps now available including a vast array of popular games like Clash of Clans and Google has pulled off a novel trick without any severe shakeup for developers.

The "It's not a laptop" laptop problem

While all of this Android and Chrome OS stuff is impressive, there are still some perception issues that Google faces. Ironically, Google has the same problem that Microsoft has with Continuum, but from the other end.

For example, the beautiful new $600 HP Chromebook 13 (opens in new tab) looks like a full PC, feels like a full PC, but it's not a real PC. Just like how Microsoft's Continuum looks like full Windows 10, but it cannot run "classic" Win32 applications either. (However, virtualization may be the solution for both platforms.)

For some people, this won't be a problem. Modern mobile computing is going towards the app model, which even Microsoft is mimicking with its Universal Windows Platform (UWP). However, a Windows 10 two-in-one or even low-cost PC still can run Photoshop, full Office, any web browser you want, iTunes, or any application your company wants you to use. Plus you now have Windows Ink, which is aiding the smart pen resurgence.

Chromebooks can't do any of that and won't be able to either. There is also the lack of security for enterprise. So, the question is Do people still want that ability to run classic, full desktop applications? If so, spending $400 or more on a Chromebook will be an issue. It's a great device until you need more and if you do need more are you going to carry around two devices?

Do people still want that ability to run classic, full desktop apps?

On the flip side, if people can just use a Chromebook with Android apps then you cannot really criticize Microsoft's UWP initiative and Continuum. The one hole, however, in that argument is a big one. Google has 1.5 million Android apps and Microsoft, well, does not. Not yet, at least.

In some ways, Google here was smarter. It's easier to go from a mobile environment up to devices with larger displays than to take a legacy OS and fit it to mobile. Luckily for Microsoft, they already did the heavy lifting and Windows 10 and OneCore is basically done. Google (and Apple) at some point will need to rectify their multiple operating systems just like Microsoft.

Convergence is real but problematic

Google's move with Android on Chrome OS is momentous, but the company is facing similar market constraints as Microsoft. Consumer interest is shifting, and people want portable computing wherever, whenever with just one device and one experience.

Microsoft is attacking the problem from the desktop to mobile while Google is going from mobile to the desktop. Neither solution is perfect as both companies face significant hurdles to get there. Microsoft has almost no mobile market share, and Google's Chromebooks are just starting to be taken seriously. Google benefits from 1.5 million Android apps, but Microsoft offers the power of full Windows and real desktop applications. Plus, long-term UWP is attractive to developers especially when you throw in Xamarin and Bridges into the mix.

It's hard to say which system will win at this point.

Google does have an upper hand with market momentum, declining Windows PC sales, the rise of ARM, and 84 percent of the mobile OS market. Not to mention their ability to shape the next generation of kids with Chromebooks in schools.

But can Google convert regular consumers and business to Chromebooks and get them to give up real computing? I'm not entirely sure, but I do know Microsoft should be worried. Windows 10 is a bigger paradigm shift, and it can run everywhere – desktop, laptops, tablets, phones, HoloLens, Xbox, IoT – but they are up against a company playing for keeps, and this latest move from Google could undercut what Microsoft is trying to accomplish.

Folks, we're in the middle of the next paradigm shift in technology and things are going to get very interesting in the next two years. Just how Google, Apple, and Microsoft navigate this period and meet consumer demands will be an exciting space to watch. (As a side note, my colleague at Laptop, Mark Spoonauer, came to a similar conclusion).

Who do you think has the advantage? Let us know in comments what you think about the future of computing and which company will get it right.

Daniel Rubino
Editor-in-chief

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been here covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics and ran the projectors at movie theaters, which has done absolutely nothing for his career.

364 Comments
  • Microsoft's interest in AAA PC gaming makes a lotta sense when you consider this.
  • That is a very good point and an area where Microsoft could accelerate. Besides two-in-one growth, gaming PCs are the only other area that is doing very well these days.
  • Yeah, and ARM doesn't cut the mustard there.
  • The fight between two companies is like CAPTURE THE FLAG!!! and its exciting ;)
  • Fingers crossed until Anniversary updates (phone/pc) are out and ticked well done, I think that's what will mark Windows 10 complete base as a whole.
  • Xbox is really where their saving grace is and they really need to make sure that their focus on Xbox is good (which it seems it is). It's the one thing that both Apple and Google don't have any part in. If MS can keep that AAA gaming on their side, they will have somewhere to work with. Gaming is their way to make their store viable and get developers using the Windows Store. Next year with their hardware revisions and Redstone 2 being released, I think we'll see the cards for Satya is. Next year is a big meaningful year for the Windows platform. Probably the most important.
  • Sadly PS is already way ahead and with PS-VR incoming it seems Xbox will follow Windows Mobile on market share & mind share.
  • MS is #2, selling well. Xbox is not in the same state as Windows Mobile and not even a comparison. The thing is Sony doesn't compete with MS anywhere else, so being #1 doesn't hurt MS in the grand scheme of things as they are competing with Apple and Google on a lot more fronts than Sony. MS can bring in those game developers if they can prove that gaming with UWP sells. If they can make sure people stay with Windows because of gaming, it will make gamers at least "want" windows more than a Chromebook, where that's really only playing phone/tablet apps...the same thing that gamers didn't use the Windows Store before. Once MS gets people on the store by selling good games on it, it will make developers make software for it. Once that happens, they can try to sell phones and such and have developers make games for that platform as well (with ease). It's not an easy problem to solve.
  • Chromebooks are not popular here or I don't see what they can bring more. For 300$ you can get pretty good laptop and you can do almost everything on it
  • obviously you don't understand how Android applications will run faster on intel Chromebook than on flagship ARM smartphone.  Let's say windows to run legacy applications and Chromebook to run. all the web applications much better than Android and all the Android Applications fasted  than any  smartphone out there. Some ChromeOS  Chromebook gives you the best of both worlds.. Well-done and thanks to Linux Container. 
  • Let s wait with the unification of xbox store..... Windows 10 Store is absolutely not ready for that, the downloader UI is terrible compared to Steam, for example.l, and it s full or glitches and errors.... I hope they ll wait all is ready and they won t ruin it at as they did with wp10 store :(
  • I think the fact they haven't succeeded in Japan has worked heavily against them, but so long as they focus on what they're good on and using Windows as leverage means that both the Xbox and the Desktop can help each other to flourish. Whilst many people use Steam, I see no reason why people won't invest in games on the Windows store if it means cross play with console friends. I guess we'll have to wait and see what comes out of E3 to have more ideas on their future focus. 
  • Japan is a shrinking market for console games. Even for Sony the U.S. is more important now and even the EU has been strong for them. 
  • And the resident troll appears to make claims once again that Microsoft is doomed. I am surprised it took you 10 minutes to respond.
  • That's an ignorant and shortsighted view of the situation.
  • psvr will flop thats for sure, and sony is screwing their consumers with ps4.5
  • Just like Baldmer said the iPhone will flop.
  • @vhyr - why are you such a tool!  you are like Ol' Faithful... but instead of stinky water, you spew stinky BS!
  • Congrats, Dan!!! Nice article!!!
  •  Gaming and productivity too. Windows Ink support would help Microsoft gain users for Edge. Microsoft have to convince education insitittutes to take windows 10. Eventually when a kid from school goes to university hes mot gonna pick that garbage chromebook and go there. Sure all university students prefer laptop and yes 2 in1 windows device wud be would also be the choice to them    
  • I thumb you down for a reason. You don't think beyond your fanboyism.
  • I know they have games but if Chromebooks are the big thing then devolpers will make games for that platform with Microsoft actively favouring android and ios for some time think they are committing business suicide because phones are the big thing and people are getting more into google and apple ecosystem over windows a big risk in my opinion
  • Well Satya's in charge of Microsoft. We'll see where he's steering the ship at some point and I do mean at some point! Posted via Windows Central app for Windows 10!
    Proudly rocking my Lumia 1520!
  • The phone and pc will die under his watch. MS will be seen as a cloud and office company. Sony will continue to improve on gaming in graphics and vr while MS Xbox struggles on the app front. And wordflow accuracy sucks ****!
  • Has anyone talked about the fact that Android Tablets arent doing good either because most apps are made for mobile anyways and then just get blown up to tablet form. If you look at market share, Android is mainly phone, iOS for tablets, and Windows for desktop/laptop pcs. Doesnt Android have to solve this before running Android apps on a laptop feels good? Also, I have been playing around with RemixOS which tried to make Android a Windows Desktop competitor and it is really rough and not great. Its ok but nothing major. My feels are that Android has a long way to go before 1.5 million apps are optimized for chromebooks. Maybe I am wrong...
  • I agree. I've seriously tried to get the Remix Ultra tablet, even with 2.0, to work well enough to replace a laptop, and it fails. There's probably a tiny number of Android apps that actually work well on a tablet with attached keyboard and trackpad.
  • I think an interesting part of this strategy is exactly that:  this gives the Andoid ecosystem a chance to grow away from phones. Including Chrome OS in the mix gives developers more reason to develop for the Chromebook and tablet martket. It will make for a healthier ecosystem for Android in the end. 
  • There is also an emerging threat here though, but not as worrisome as the Chromebook with Android apps. The rising popularity of Vulcan is attracting some game developers which in turn makes those AAA games easier to publish on other platforms that support Vulcan. Especially that even Google supports Vulcan on Android N, as we know it's a very popular mobile OS for consumers, that will turn developers heads into Vulcan at least from mobile first. The possible effect is that Vulcan is cross-platform unlike DirectX which is exclusive to Windows and most AAA games use it. When they swtich to Vulcan, there is a good chance that games on other platforms like OS X and even some Linux distros supporting Vulcan would have same AAA titles. Well not entirely bad since Windows also supports it, but it will affect their territory of a lone PC Games OS, especially when it gets adopted in larger scale, the question of using Windows for PC Games won't be any more a strong point. Fortunately for Microsoft, Macs are generally not design for gaming with their limited configuration options, and the practicality of Linux for other task outside gaming won't easily attract gamers, though Steam OS might change that or at least start some domino effect.
  • What computers do google use in thier offices?
  • Thats a very good valid question !!
  • Macs
  • Commodore 64s, judging by the quality of their services.
  • LMFAO!!
  • Now now, don't slander the Commodore 64.  That was an awesome computer (for its time).
  • You have a choice of three computers assuming you are not on a team that needs a specific OS you can obtain a Chromebook, OSX or Windows PC.   In my division the vast majority have Macs.
  • It might be to optimistic or too early to say but MS will win this battle with Hololens as the Trump card.
  • VR is more popular and wat cheaper than ARs yet
  • Arjun Jasyal, did you capitalize "Trump" for rhetorical effect?
  • What can 'save' the PC on the consumer side is, all PCs need to be able to also be Xbox's. The console market doesn't have a long term future anyway, it's a declining business, so merging the Xbox and the PC is the next logical step.   
  • LOL they already are, maybe you've missed the last years. An Xbox is an underpowered and restricted PC.
  • Wow this is getting interesting!!
    "IT WILL TAKE AS MUCH TIME FOR GOOGLE TO HAVE ITS CHROME OS BE POPULAR IN MARKET AS WINDOWS AS MUCH WINDOWS PHONES NEED TO, BECOME POPULAR AS ANDROID" !! Google already has market on phones and not having much changes on PCs maybe i can imaging that they are heading towards similarity of continuum with included ability to run apps on PC directly from mobile, or just sharing the .apk and restoring the data. For microsoft i love to use its established OS and sucks to have a windows phone if it had a bad hardware configuration!(rightnow i run W10M official on my 512 MB ram device and it sucks a big one. I cant even open cloud raiders or photocomment on facebook.) i see the continuum feature as useless for many people:
    1. Because apps in mobile market aren't good.
    2. Not many people are actually tech enthusiasts and care to know what us it. Many successful people are happy with Nokia (monster tank keypad old phone). Also they dont care to understand it, it destroys simplicity. But i like the concept to use the apps on a large screen with my phone as the CPU!! Only if my monitor has some memory and i could just transfer apps with data restore. And for India, i can say it will take a lot of time for google to have its market in india because people hate complications and fresher tech (most of i know) in india. You have to be an established tech (like microsoft is old guy in computer industry and android in phones) so they are well trusted on their platforms.
  • thats so expected move from google to respond to UWP and its more the time to give Smartphones/Tablets the PC apps computing powers not the other way around , hopes Surface Phone will do that and get more advanced Continuum too , the HP Elite X3 is the most respected Windows 10 phone till now and could be the Surface phone standard and its better be " the phone that can replace your PC or works like your PC "
  • For personal use, gaming and Photoshop are probably the things I need desktop Windows for. Chrome OS and Android apps would provide just about everything else. Posted via my Nexus 7 2013 using the Windows Central App for Android
  • I dont use chrome or android OS for anything.. I don't even use google search anymore.. my 950 runs circles around a nexus.. Chrome browser is a resource lag.. Now with edge having extensions come in, we'll see how long till chrome starts declinining in popularity.. I think MS should start breaking chrome on windows 10 slowly as edge stabilizes.. that would be nice to google who don't support windows phone at all.. I would personally love it  
  • You know, there are many alternate methods to get android apps on windows 10... And google adding this officially to chrome OS makes it easier to hackers to provide it to windows 10.
  • If only Satya hadn't given up on mobile so prematurely, Windows might be able to approach the rise of Chrome from both angles--from the PC and mobile.  Instead, Microsoft has to hope people need a Windows on a laptop more than they want Android on a laptop.  Good luck with that.
  • As Daniel mentioned in the article, "people" have constantly derided Microsoft and Continuum, or even just Windows 8.1 because it is essentially running mobile apps on a desktop environment. I think it's great but again "people" site that as a major reason why they don't want Windows 8/8.1 or 10. Why should Android be any different? Or is Microsoft held to a double-standard or something?
  • It may be a bit double-standard, but also the difference is like what this article mentioned is that there are tons of Android apps to choose from, not to mention the very healthy community of developers actively making new apps and updating them, while Windows is still just trying to gain momentum on this. Thing is, more people seems more excited on having Android apps on their laptops, this is why Bluestacks and other alternatives became a popular niche if not because of performance limitations and other things. Chrome running Android natively would be really attractive for many users, especially for those who don't rely on Win32 apps on Windows on most task. People are mostly fine only using web browser for most of their time on PC's already, putting their favorite Android apps to pair with their Android phones just makes it way more attractive for them. Windows 8.X and 10 story is bit different, since there aren't many apps (not to mention junk ones that gladly been partially trying to solve) and functionality of many of those apps aren't on par on iOS and Android. There is even a perception of "barren wasteland Store" on Windows left hanging on some people, to add the injury is the current less than percent marketshare of Microsoft mobile efforts. This Android apps on Chrome is really the speculative threat for a long time and unfortunately they're already catching up, not to mention where younger generation are well exposed on Chrome OS and Google services. Kids already finds Google cool, which won't be any good for Microsoft in near future.
  • agreed
  • True but it is even close to be big enough to stop the bleeding.
  • What computers are google using in thier offices? Just curious to know...
  • That reality isn't important since most of the market doesn't write code Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • I Realised this the other day, that's why MS is moving its focus away from consoles and back to PCs for gaming, they need to keep PCs relevant and a couple of hundred million gamers sure help that cause.
  • Not sure what you are talking about because all I've seen from Microsoft is a lot of talk on PC gaming but no commitments and little full AAA titles coming to PC. With the dominance of Steam and how most PC games are entrenched in Valve's eco system, Microsoft has a long and hard road ahead if it wants to make even a small dent here. The only way i see this happening is if Microsoft truly merges their Xbox and Windows 10 gaming into one with cross buy and cross play between the two platforms that are becoming one under the Win10 umbrella.  
  • Steam is mostly on PCs so his point is valid.
  • How does that solve when pc is on the decline?
  • Empty threats from Google. Still no match for MS UWP
  • Seriously??? I love MS and I want UWP to succeed, but right now there isn't much keeping me tied to the windows platform.
  • well he speaks about the potentional the UWP apps have and they do its a big deal :3 and many devs are starting to use it and develop, the doenst speak for the apps that are available that takes time!
  • Seriously??? Nothing keeping you tied to the Windows platform? I find it very interesting that the number of apps for WP is the main thing to all the tech sites in recommending it over iPhone or Android. And yet, when Mac has 28,000 apps on their store, a million on the Windows store today with potentially 17 million to be added soon then the app count doesn't factor into it. People didn't buy Surface RT devices because you couldn't run desktop apps on it. People bought iPads, and when people realized that they could not run real apps on it, sales plummeted. Chromebooks have few apps available for it now, yes they will get Android apps but as we have seen, the apps on Android tablets do not work. Google truly just put a phone interface on tablets. Screens do not scale in size, they do not layout properly. Now they want to put phone apps on an even bigger, laptop screen where those apps were not designed to use a trackpad and always available keyboard? There may not be much keeping you tied to the Windows platform. But the compeitition just doesn't work.
  • Don't underestimate the impications of this move.  ChromeOS has just gone from utterly useless to genuinely useful.  Sure, it isn't perfect, but this is a big big deal. And Windows 10 is pretty low hanging fruit.  There's not a lot it does particularly well for the average consumer.
  • Interesting how you mention Windows Phone sales, and people immediately call it dead. But then this device, which has a lower marketshare in PCs than WP has in phones, and it is the end of Windows while Google is going to win. I can't tell you how many devices I have seen that have been released and it was called the end of Windows. Mac, Linux, Network PC, the iPad, and now Chromebook. The only one that was even close (and it wasn't that close) was the iPad. And now its sales are dropping many times faster than the PC. Microsoft shouldn't sit back and do nothing, but this is just another wannabe. "And Windows 10 is pretty low hanging fruit." And now the truth comes out. 8 months to 300 million is low hanging fruit? This article states 2 million chromebooks were sold last quarter. 60 million PCs were sold last quarter. After years of being on the market, suddenly it is going to outsell PCs this year? "There's not a lot it does particularly well for the average consumer." Really? You speak for the entirety of all PC users? I must have missed the vote where we elected you our official spokes man/woman/thing. So Windows 10 doesn't offer the user anything over a device that is limited and restricted in what you can do with it, what software you can run? Looks like we have another new delusional troll. Maybe it is all that xtc you are taking.  
  • Your numbers don't add up. Windows phones captured .6% of the market while your numbers show ChromeOS with 3.33% of the PC market. ChromeOS has quite a bit more market share than Windows phone. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Do not forget that windows phone had around to 4% market share a couple of years ago. Lumia 640 XL
  • > Interesting how you mention Windows Phone sales, and people immediately call it dead. WP has lower share than ChromeOS, and is declining.  It is now roughly one half of one percent of the mobile market.  ChromeOS sales are skyrocketing, gobbling up about 5%.  ChromeOS is now the #2 computer OS, after Windows, having just edged out MacOS.   > I can't tell you how many devices I have seen that have been released and it was called the end of Windows. No one is saying this is the "end of Windows."  But is probably the first serious threat.  Apple doesn't compete with Windows, happy to stay in the high-end niche as a luxury brand.  ChromeOS just got serious at every level.  MS is treading water, at best.   > After years of being on the market, suddenly it is going to outsell PCs this year? Um...no.  But in 5 years?  It may seem far-fetched, but remember what happened to Android's growth.  Android is the most used OS of all time.  It took it five years take that title. And keep in mind that because Windows is declining rapidly, ChromeOS and Windows may well meet in the middle sooner than anyone expects.
      > Looks like we have another new delusional troll. There has been almost no innovation on the PC in years.  I can't think of a single major new platform that's launched on PC this decade.  That said, there have been tons of highly successful new platforms that launched on Android; think Snapchat, for example.  The PC exists as a way to run legacy programs.  I love my PC.  But for the next generation of computer users, it represents and extremely small piece of their usage pie.  Even MS knows this and has gone all-in on the cloud.  I don't think they're even trying very hard with Windows, TBH, if W10 is the best they can do.  They know the jig is up.
  • "ChromeOS is now the #2 computer OS, after Windows, having just edged out MacOS." That's only for one quarter in the US, Chromebooks are still basically non-existent outside the US.
  • While scrolling through the comments seeing if there was any replies to me, I stopped at your comment. The first phrase that jumped out at me was "Windows is declining rapidly," And then I didn't read any more. It was all I needed to see to know that you are full of s---, that you have made up your mind that Microsoft is dead. And so there is no reason to have a reasonable discussion and debate with you. It doesn't make a difference what anyone says, you will invent "facts," state they are true, and anyone disagreeing with you is simply wrong, even though the evidence states otherwise.
  • @ nohone Full of s---?  Windows is declining rapidly.  That's not my opinion.  PC sales have fallen to levels below where they were in 2008.  Maybe they've hit the bottom.  Maybe they haven't.  Time will tell.  But since 2011 the trend has been down, down, down...selling approximately 80 million fewer in 2015 than their peak.
  • Well, you need to think in the form factor that will suit a new platform better. Snapchat and almost any messenger wannabe will launch at mobile, because that's what people carry in their pockets all the time. In the PC territory, the most important platforms were already launched because it is an older form factor, but there are Steam, Chrome Browser and Oculus... and Hololens, and all those games making more money than any app that comes to your mind (except for Über, probably). For Chrome OS, to take over Windows the task won't be to put mobile apps into a half-baked laptop, but to build a fully operational OS, where devs can charge you with 50 USD or more for software, with versions or alternatives to everything Windows does. If not, it won't even survive against Android phablets.
  • I am a Windows user (I have been using Microsoft products since my family bought an 8088 computer), but I can see that there is an opportunity for Google here. Yes, I do love my Android phone, and if that makes me the enemy, so be it. If Google can turn their current 2 million Chromebooks per quarter into 10 million, Microsoft will certainly feel it. They'll have two virile competitors in the PC space:  Apple and Google. "Chromebooks aren't PC."Yeah, yeah; I can see the day coming when a Chromebook can effectively replace a PC. I personally see this as a threat to Microsoft. It's an erosion of their core business. Microsoft is going to have to work very hard to maintain their business. 
  • I can personally see a future where a windows mobile can replace both standard PCs and chromebook, unfortunately what we can see never becomes real :P
  • Fully agree with you comment. Something is starting to come out of the shadows... MS should put more effort now to take the advantage while it is possible.
  • Adding Android apps could also make the platform more problematic for education.  Daniel mentioned the allure of the no apps, locked down, nature of ChromeOS.  Adding Google play ads a tracking layer that might get them in trouble with FERPA again, and complexity that takes some of the ease of management away.  If ChromeOS becomes like Windows when it comes to managing it, why not just use Windows?
  • Not to mention those 1.5 million android apps arent optimized for keyboard/mouse and a computer screen.
  • Think for once MS has seen the threat in time and is reacting before the collapse, a refreshing change.
    W10 being free is a huge counter punch, it needs to continue. UWPs only a jab but lets see how they pan out, and a major switch of focus back to PC gaming, with Sony's help, all help to keep Windows front and centre. Add in the corporate space and windows has the ammunition it needs to remain relevant.
    With schools in mind, W10 being free, laptops now very cheap and they can be locked down, add continuum etc, it all should be enough when combined with the above......hopefully.
  • W10 is not free. W10M is free, did not help much..
  • What planet are you on?
  • Schools can lock Google Play away. The point is more about  - which tablet/phone/hybrid/laptop will the kids ask for at home, or parents think its the best one for them to do their homework on?