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Surface 'Centaurus' could run Android apps — but would that really help 'Windows Lite' succeed?

It is rumored that Microsoft is working on Android app support for Surface "Centaurus", Microsoft's upcoming dual-screen tablet 2-in-1 that runs a new flavor of Windows Core OS known as "Windows Lite." This new version of Windows is designed to kickstart Windows into a new era, featuring a brand-new lightweight user experience, fast and fluid animations, and with some legacy components removed.

Will Android apps even make a difference?

Can Android apps make a difference when it comes to app support on a device like Centaurus? The ability to run Android apps on Windows is not a new idea and is something you can do today on Windows 10 via tools like Bluestacks, but it's a niche thing that people do on Windows. I've never seen your average user say they depend on Android app support on their PC, however. Most people using a Windows PC are simply using a web browser to get all their activities done.

And if they're not using a web browser, they're likely using a program that's already in the Microsoft Store, like Spotify or Office. The introduction of Android app support could fill the gaps where necessary, but on a device like Centaurus, I'm not sure if supporting Android apps is going to make a huge difference. Android tablets haven't exactly taken off, and most Android apps scale poorly on screen sizes larger than your average smartphone. Centaurus is rumored to have nine-inch displays.

Perhaps Microsoft is leaning into the upcoming Android Q desktop feature, which essentially turns any Android smartphone into a Continuum-compatible device. If developers begin taking that seriously, more apps will be built-out with desktop use in mind. That could very much change things for Centaurus, so in that context, adding the ability to run Android apps on Windows Core OS makes perfect sense.

How will the emulation work?

Microsoft Store

Microsoft Store (Image credit: Windows Central)

You also have to wonder how exactly Microsoft is planning to enable Android app support on Windows Core OS. I don't think it'll be "natively" via the Microsoft Store. I think it's possible that Microsoft would go the route of simply enabling third-party emulators (such as Bluestacks) to operate on Windows Core OS instead of building out its own "native" Android app ecosystem on Windows like it was planning with "Astoria."

The reason for this, I think, surrounds the legality of it all. Google would have to agree to something like Astoria, and Microsoft would have to pay for the Google Play Services license, because Google Play is required for many popular Android apps to be useful. Leaving it up to third-party emulators like Bluestacks means it isn't Microsoft that has to handle all the licensing and agreements with Google.

It also means Microsoft could tie it in with the whole open store idea that it announced with HoloLens 2. Bluestacks could be a storefront for Android apps on Windows Core OS that can seamlessly integrates with the Windows Shell experience, kind of like how Steam games download via the Steam store but are listed in your Start menu and placed on your desktop. An API layer would be required to enable this for emulators, but it isn't impossible.

What are your thoughts on the possibility of Android app support on Centaurus? Let us know in the comments.

Our favorite Surface accessories from Microsoft

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Surface Precision Mouse (opens in new tab) ($77 at Amazon)

The Surface Precision Mouse is not only one of favorite Surface accessories, it's one of our favorite mice for any PC. It's packed with valuable features and customizable buttons. Its scrolling and tracking are seamless and spot-on. And it's rechargeable so you never have to buy new batteries for it.

Surface Pen (opens in new tab) (From $72 at Amazon)

Every Surface owner needs this Pen. Period. It supports 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity, tilt support for shading density, and enjoys supremely low latency. When paired with a Surface PC, the potential is endless. And it comes in a bunch of cool colors.

Surface Dock (opens in new tab) ($136 at Amazon)

With two Mini DisplayPorts, four USB-A 3.0 ports, an Ethernet port, and a 3.5mm audio jack, this dock gives you the ports you need to stay connected to all your favorite devices. Plus, it easily turns your Surface into a desktop power hub. We highly recommend it.

Zac Bowden is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. Bringing you exclusive coverage into the world of Windows 10 on PCs, tablets, phones, and more. Also an avid collector of rare Microsoft prototype devices! Keep in touch on Twitter: @zacbowden.

72 Comments
  • This is one of those things where we'll need to see how it plays out with the hardware. Right now, I have no idea what the hardware will be like or what use cases it's designed for. I do think there's value in this approach to some degree though. It's just a matter of how much.
  • Your sense is correct: A browser and what is already built-in, and at the Microsoft Store for Win 10, is all I've required and expect to require. I still have Windows 7 on my Intel NUC, and Win 10 on two tablets: a Surface and a Yoga Book. I'll soon have to give up Windows 7, on which I've become quite expert, but I've now learned Win 10 well enough to know what I need and not.
  • The only thing I can say for certain is that if this support depends on the goodwill of Google (ha!) or that of mobile app developers generally (most of whom seem to despise Microsoft and Windows), it is doomed to fail.
  • Could you really blame developers for hating MS after MS' and Nadella's behaviour towards them?
  • 1) MS dropped WP
    2) devs hate MS cause MS dropped WP.
    3) devs went to Android camp What's the right order?
    1, 2, 3? or just 3? WP is destined to die cause phone market can only allows 1 not-iOS OS to breath.
    WP came to the party late with 0 user base. And 0 user base == 0 dev base, 0 dev base == 0 user base, the famous chicken and egg loop.
    And WP/W10M was a pointless effort because they are not a Windows. They don't run the same UWP/XPA we run on our Windows Classic or WCOS.
    Current CEO knew that and it's why WCOS is in the work.
  • If devs weren't supporting WP in the first place, why would they care if Microsoft dropped it?
  • Got to disagree that wp was late to the party. They had the mobile world pretty much to themselves before the iPhone arrived. The flaw was arrogance and then appointing Nadella who simply surrendered without a fight after annoying the hell out of developers by dumping damned near everything in his obsession with Azure, a policy that is not playing out so well here in Australia when government opted for Amazon in preference to Nadella's obsession.
  • Well, unlike for Windows 10 Mobile, I don't think they can still use the argument that it was too resource intensive. At this point, I don't see why they shouldn't reprise the feature.
  • I think it's most likely an Amazon approach, rather than just leave it to apps like Bluestacks. That would be very clumsy and wouldn't really help them.
  • I think MS should add qualified and selected Android apps to the Microsoft store only, but they should find ways to encourage developers to create Windows or PWA versions to the store instead.
  • I agree that Android apps running on Windows don't seem like a legit solution to the "app gap" to me. MicroSOFT is supposed to be a "software" company. So why not act like a software company and either purchase software to fill a certain perceived "gap" or write the bloody apps themselves? Case in point... Mint. It's the poster child of an app "gap" app. While the MS Store has come a long way in many other areas, there are few if any quality finance apps on the MS Store. And Intuit is the poster child of an arrogant, thankless, company refusing to support an OS that helped make them great in the first place. So why not offer a cool BILLION dollars to the first startup who'll create a competing app? A billion is a lot of money, but it's a "cheaper" option than purchasing Mint from Intuit for 8 billion. MS doesn't always need to spend 7.5 billions here, 26.2 billion trying to buy their way out of trouble. A mere billion $ reward would be pretty tempting to most hungry MIT grad geniuses to go up against Intuit. Basically this is what Nintendo did, when the "big" game companies spurned the Wii-U. They either wrote great games themselves, or they turned to Indie companies for new titles. Why not tell arrogant companies like Intuit to go fly a kite, and offer a billion $ reward to some upstart to put the horses' asses out of business? Or at least take a bite out of their market share? I'm positive some MIT or IIT grad buddies would jump at it.
  • Concerns in summary: Short term?
    Yes, it would prevent all the DOA articles from the biased technosphere which are regurgitated adnauseam by clueless individuals thus enabling some number of sales. Long term?
    No, it would be a disaster for the entire windows ecosystem as it completely undermines every single thing that has been done to unify Windows all across devices. Plus it enables Google a bigger foot hold and Google is far too big for their breeches already.
  • You realize they can skip Google entirely, right? And distribute it using Windows Store?
  • @dustojnik hummer. You are missing the obvious flaw with that direction. With AOSP android Microsoft will have to use their own APIs and rework or create alot of APIs as well. Then the android apps would have to be updated to include these aforesaid APIs. Then they will have to shoehorn all these new APIs into the o/s so that works across all other devices. So effectively they would be starting from scratch and introducing android based malware into Windows. Which enables another vector of security holes and zero day exploits. So yeah, what is the point when Microsoft has spent decades getting the stage where the underlying software is unified across devices?
  • I think Microsoft does a good enough job undermining themselves. By basically back tracking on the whole premise of UWP and then eventually moving back to win 32 apps and calling those uwps. They need all the help they can get otherwise, it's dead in the water again.
  • "Google Play is required for many popular Android apps to be useful" - How google owns android without owning it
  • Amazon has sold a ton of devices that use Android without involving Google.
  • @Tarkus13. Sure but it uses Amazon's store which has paltry selection of apps. It's the App gap issue all over again.
  • Eh, I mean the windows store has more apps than the amazon store, but they aren't THE SAME apps. Same with PWA, PWA has a very small offering, but a very small offering of fantastic apps. Between the three, I'm not sure why you'd need google mobile services. Amazon and microsoft have been pretty cozy recently too. Hence why I think the supposition of legal issues is flawed to start. If windows core can run amazon appstore apps, windows store apps, and appized PWAs, I don't think anyone could really call that an app gap. At least not a significant one for the vast majority of users. If that slows development, microsoft could always phase out android apps later on, once the user base is there.
  • Never saw such an app.
  • to get google play store Apps Microsoft would have go the route everyone else has to go to use
    them. such as pay a fee & do other things Google require play store users to do such as
    become tied to Google services which I donot think Microsoft wants to do. Windows 10's
    store already has the Apps i use which is not many so the Centaurus using Android apps is
    a none issue to me. What bothers me is the Centaurus's 2 touch screen are 9 inch
    diagonal 4 by 3 aspect ratio. which is like having two ipad 9.7 screen tablets joined together
    by hinges. this is not a small device. the original 2010 MS Courier had 2 separate 7 inch
    diagonal touch screen with a 4 by 3 aspect ratio. this device was smaller and more
    compact a device to carry around. the Centaurus will be bulkier heavier. I hope
    that Microsoft builds the smaller dual 7 inch diagonol 4 by 3 touch screen Centaurus
    because it will be easier to carry around
  • …so you’re suggesting a pocketable Andromeda like device?
  • Yes.. I am wondering exactly how Android apps on Windows would work🤔🤔🤔
  • Or they can just go around Google in Amazon-style approach. Just distribute APK files using Windows Store and allow sideloading.
  • It'd help with banking apps. My bank only supports iOS and Android. I can use the web browser on my surface but if I want to make a mobile check deposit, I have to, you know,...use my... 'mobile' device.
  • I would switch banks ... the PC is my main device for anything critical (since i trust Android only as far as i can throw it), and i would never do banking on it more than checking my bank balance - which i do with the mobile website.
  • Windows is way less secure than Android. It is not unusual for Windows to be exploited in the wild while it is very rare that an Android phone is compromised.
  • I could care less if a Surface device running Android apps would succeed.. At least not succeed in the sense that most of you may imagine, which is by relavance to Android, and iOS.. I don't think a devices destiny should hing on the fact of whether, or not, it could potentially sell comparative to iDriod in numbers. That's stupid. It's all about options, and bringing options to the table that could spawn into other options that may make a big impact. How could we get there if we don't try??? MS may make a device that's not wildly popular by any means, but one of their partners might perfect the concept. I think that's more the point of the surface brand, and what MS's intentions are. Nevertheless, Android apps can't hurt bring a few more testers aboard. I have no idea what the question is, and why this is even a discussion. A Windows PC is already useful Af. What idiot would complain about adding even more functionality to it? Devices are pretty damn simple. You either love the concept, it's attainable to you, and you get one, or you don't think the device will do you any good, and you pass, and go on with your life... Currently, I have Zero use for HoloLens, and will not buy one, but some people do, and I think it's a great idea MS keep investing into that sector, because someone will eventually get it right. I do not have a problem with MS throwing darts at the board. Anyone who thinks Android & iOS are the end of mobile technological advancement is an idiot, or hasn't lived long enough to see huge shifts in the way the world does things. Those same people are the ones who hold us back. Stay open minded, people.
  • >A Windows PC is already useful Af. What idiot would complain about adding even more functionality to it? I actually don't understand this. And it would help 2in1 and tablet users if it was not slow emulation!
  • Yeah, that's the key... It has to work seamlessly, or people won't use it. That's why I'm curious how it will be implemented.
  • Sure, it could be useful. But emulating droid apps are not all ways straight forward. In any case it's not a game MS should play. Sadly, atm platforms are essential, and apps are a huge part of that. MS can't live with android emulation as some kind of respirator, and if they use Android to get high sales, how could they ever get out of the arrangement? No, MS need good enough HW, and a OS that survives the first reviews. Those two things need to be so good every reviewer should say I want this, it just lacks som apps, but luckily the most important apps are there. And then MS should make porting apps to the MS easy as F....
  • Apps are not coming to Windows. Not without help.. I don't really think it's about high sales, but even if MS made an extremely nice surface device that might be centered around ultimate portability, people would still want apps.. Another thing.. Just because emulation has been subpar in the future why do you think that has to be the case indefinitely?
  • Easy, get devices out there, then announce a cut for android support with a slow window. Users = development.
  • Centarus doesn't compete with Android or iPhone. It competes with Windows. You aren't going to entice iPad people. Microsoft's only hope is cannibalizing legacy Windows users. Not sure where else they can come from.
  • Rodneyej I don't think you are aware of the ramifications of what you are saying. Let me ask you, if you were an app developer and were able to target a new userbase without doing much work (targeting two ecosystems with one app), would you develop a separate Windows app?
  • Took me a minute to get what you're saying, but I understand now. So, my answer to that is what does it matter? What would have been the odds of them making a Windows UWP app in the first place? Why should we wait for an app that is least likely to ever come to the Windows store just because we are worried about hindering the UWP program?
    I mean, that's not only counter productive, it's wishful thinking when you can make progress now. How likely do you think Fort Worth Community Credit Union (my bank) are to make a UWP app in the next 5 years? I'm not saying I'm not concerned about UWP, and I'm not saying that it's not I good concept. I think it's the best concept, actually. What I'm saying is that I'm not going to sit here and be more concerned than MS. 🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔
  • I get what you mean rodneyej, at present in the UK almost every service is now app centric such as paying for parking as that removes the cost on councils on maintaining pay and display metres. It's really a catch22 situation because small entities like your credit union will only expend resources where it makes sense and due to popularity + internal familiarity that will be ios and android. Now if more people Windows based mobile devices ergo Windows phones then it would make sense for them to develop a UWP app because that would allow them to target both PCs and phones. But with no mobile familiarity, Windows users are left using the browser and on the other hand you have large entities like banks which will not want to support a platform if there are hardly any users. It's that circular argument all over again, you need apps to get users but to get users you need apps. The crux of it all is that without any windows based mobile play from Microsoft, users like you and I are left out in the cold. To mitigate this some at Microsoft think android apps are the answer, but that is a short term remedy not a viable long term solution. The underlying issue is that the moment they allow android apps to run on a windows based mobile device, there wouldn't be any point to any developer making any sort of UWP app ever which is why Astoria got cancelled (it ran too well apparently). Primarily because we are a decade or more away from WMR based computing in the mainstream. Axing the mobile division is going to continue to bite Microsoft in the rear for a long time. As Mediatek and Nvidia (Tegra SOCs) took a pass on WoA two years ago and it remains to be seen if they are still in that same mindset. I imagine they are waiting for all the hard work to be done by Qualcomm to open up the market lol. I think we are about a year or two away from mass market of WoA devices. Chances are we may very well see a UWP app from your credit union in the next five years.
  • Depends on the app. If I was writing some layperson app, maybe not. If I was writing something for professionals or creatives, I'd probably skip over android all together. Also depends on the hardware.
  • No, MS need to make the right hardware, and they need to make porting flawlessly to MS as easy as possible. If Huawei can make devs "port" to their OS, then MS should as well. But they need to make them selvs interesting enough. That means bleeding in HW, as well as the Store for a while. Sure, they bled with Windows Phone and 10m, but the HW was not really interesting enough. MS need to make the OS work from day one, and they need to make HW that equals the top brands at any given price point. With lite MS have the opportunity, but they need to show they're investing for real, and in for the long haul. And, they need to communicate this. MS did not really communicate at all before. Nobody knew what they intended to do before they did something. And, they waited to long before they did the things they did do.
  • When did Huawei make devs port apps?
  • Huawei is developing an Android fork. No porting involved, they are basically doing what Amazon did. Although, that makes a good case for googleless android, and now being the ideal time to jump in on that, because there is strength in numbers. If amazon, huawei, and microsofts devices all require GMS free android apps, it makes a more compelling case to devs.
  • Honestly, if it wasn't for Microsoft I wouldn't have even got an Android... Avoiding them for as long as I have, I probably would have had to either get a dumb phone or heaven forbid a dumber iPhone 👀
  • If Centaurus runs a full desktop browser, support for Android would not be necessary. If not, then it can make a difference. Chrome OS is not really a tablet OS. In fact, it is mostly a desktop OS. Thus, I do not think that this is the competition for Microsoft. I believe that Microsoft sees the iPad as the main competition and Centaurus may directed against it and not against Chrome. In this case, the capability of running Android apps may be crucial.
  • I think it could be some kind of misinterpretation. Windows 10 already can run Android Apps, as long as it is a PWA. Maybe they are just referring to that.
  • Microsoft should simply enable support for Android apps on Windows Store and it should be as simple as 'Just upload you already existing android app here', so there will be no reason for a developer refuse to publish a app there. As for games, should be a way to change from Google Play Services to Xbox Live as easy as 1 line of code change and you done. Microsoft don't need to use Google Play Services, they need to replace it.
  • Microsoft still release apps for mobile device, and system requirements of Windows 10 version 17134.0 or higher.
    https://www.windowscentral.com/e?link=https%3A%2F%2Fclick.linksynergy.co...
    Mobile is not dead.
  • Honestly, no, I don't think it will. If people aren't buying Android tablets to run apps on a large device, why would they buy a Windows device?
  • Is Centarus running Windows? We don't even know what the platform will be called yet.
  • Some apps won't install on rooted devices. I wonder if this would be considered rooted.
  • This might actually get some people to buy Centaurus without really thinking through the workflow implications. Where will the app data reside and will the end user have access to it? For example, would an Android camera app be able to put photos in a place accessible by OneDrive to load into Camera Roll? For apps that use data on the cloud, a web app will work fine as a substitute for the Android app. For apps that persist data locally, this could have workflow issues with the WCOS file system. When it comes to a beautiful workflow setup, nothing beat W10M phone and W10 desktop. Those worked together beautifully. I loved how Mail, Calendar, People, Maps, Edge, Calculator, Alarms & Clock, To-Do, Photos, Netflix, and MSN Weather were essentially the same app on phone as desktop. And then OneDrive tying it all together. When Centaurus comes out, I again will be looking for this elegance in the cognitive surface area needed to run all platforms. So I will be looking to run UWP apps or web apps between desktop and Centaurus. I will want the experience to be the same between desktop and Centaurus, and I will want workflows to be started and continued between desktop and Centaurus. For these reasons, Android apps would not make sense to me. It will just make my computing experience more complicated (I think). If Microsoft is considering supporting Android apps on Centaurus, something tells me Andromeda is on the coat tails of Centaurus. This Android support things is more important for pocketable devices where desktop web apps won't really work. In the case of pocketable WCOS devices, I would only install an Android app if I was desperate (e.g. work requires it). In these cases, though it would be small use case for me, having the ability would be better than not having the ability. My wife works at a place that has to use a phone VIP app for secondary authentication. This use case would be where it would be nice to be able to install the Android app. By the way, I use my beloved Surface Go with a 10" screen, and I use web apps a lot, with Win32 and UWP filling in the rest of the needs. The only thing I can't do on my beloved Surface Go is Visual Studio and Cubase (and that is really more a storage issue).
  • I don't really want anything to do with the Play Store, either directly nor via BlueStacks. Got rid of my Google account over 3 years ago, have absolutely no G anything... no G mail... No G docs... No G tube. And have never felt better. That company is an ad pushing monopoly as far as I'm concerned. And the masses can have it! I'll stick with Surface knockoff and my iPhone. So if they're bound and determined to fill the perceived app gap (which I personally believe primarily exists on PHONE SIZED apps to begin with, not Surface sized devices) with Android apps then I'd rather they do so using Astoria. That is unless they can pull off a lighter, faster, seamless, containerized version of emulation. Definitely not Bluestacks though. That thing is hideous. Good for nothing but novelty, not real use. BTW, for me there are exactly 4 apps missing on the MS Store for my Surface knockoff device... Mint, Citi, eTrade, and Voxer. All of which have web versions I can limp along on.
  • I think maybe one of the best things Microsoft could do is release two phones both with the same internals one with windows Lite and one with Android. Can anyone complain about that?
  • Zac should get a couple Surface Go devices and create a duct tape hinge for them. The bezels are quite big, I bet you could make a sturdy hinge after a bit of trial and error. You could even go crazy and do it with three of them. It might be an interesting article and a chance to figure out what the point of such a device would be.
  • Running Android phone apps on a large screen Windows device is incredibly stupid for a couple of reasons. One. Android tablets are not exactly flying off the shelves. There is a reason for this. Very few Android phone apps run well/look good on a tablet. This is not iOS we are talking about here. Two. Much more importantly, running your competitors apps is never a good idea. This will only help Android and hurt Windows. If developers know they can target all users of this device by doing NOTHING - because their existing Android app will run - they will have zero incentive to create a native app. We already saw this exact scenario happen 25 years ago with OS/2. For you kiddies who have no clue, OS/2 was an astonishingly powerful OS in 1993. Originally developed jointly by MS and IBM, MS bailed on it when Windows 3.1 became a runaway success. IBM carried on, and gave OS/2 the ability to run Windows 3.1 apps "better than Windows". They actually advertised it as able to run more apps than any other OS. Which was true. OS/2 version 3 ran DOS apps, Windows 3.1 apps and OS/2 apps. It ran DOS apps and Windows 3.1 apps better than real DOS and real Windows 3.1. Apps that would crash DOS or Windows 3.1 (which was still based on DOS) and required a reboot of the PC, would not affect OS/2. At worst, you just restarted the WinOS2 or DOS system. No PC reboot required. Since everyone was jumping on the Windows 3.1 bandwagon, very few companies released OS/2 native apps. Including Microsoft. There was never an OS/2 version of Office. Because the Windows 3.1 version ran fine AND Microsoft had no incentive to help IBM. The lesson of OS/2 is, NEVER support you competitor. IBM did (by having OS/2 run all Windows 3.1 apps), and OS/2 died because of an "app gap". There were no native apps, therefore there was little reason to run OS/2. All PCs came with Windows 3.1. OS/2 had to be bought and installed by the user, and the installation of OS/2 was not nearly as easy as installing DOS and Windows. Microsoft did NOT support their competitor (IBM) by NOT releasing an OS/2 Office. Windows 3.1 was a huge success and OS/2 failed, because of an app gap AND because it was never pre-installed on PCs. Sound familiar? Later, Windows 95 and NT4 completely killed OS/2 because OS/2 could not run Win32 apps, which was the main point of Windows 95 and NT4. OK, the history lesson is over. Surely there are people at MS old enough to remember all of the above. There is simply no reason at all for a new MS device/OS to run Android apps. That they are even considering this means it is already doomed, because it has no software AND MS knows that developers will not be chomping at the bit to try yet another new MS platform. Developers have been burned too many times by Windows Phones and UWP.
  • Honest question - What is the point of articles like this? Slow news day (years)?
  • What's the point of a report that a yet to be revealed folding Surface device could run over a million Android apps and that a version of Windows 10 could run Android apps?
  • I don't think it will be the Pivot point. Using both a win 10 pc and a smartphone now there is rarely a crossover point. For Andromeda it would have made sence but I think in this larger form factor consumers will struggle to find android apps that are worth it
  • My first thought is enough already with the app craze... It's stupid and obsolete from a tech perspective... I'm tired of all that BS when ever you are on a website now a days you have a pop-up to open it in app... You end up with 100s of stand alone apps this is moronic.... With cloud computing state we should be browser based on smartphones at least.... At least on apps that require to be online to be useful... And why the hell devs don't develop for PC (what ever the OS) most people working at a desk all day would be happy to use those apps on their desktop I know I would... Or at least have their browser based version as good as their apps.... That being said Android app integration if it doesn't help it won't hurt either... So it is a good move and if it's implemented like you said it's even smarter.... Almost all the advantages without the licensing hassle and not too much company resources allocated to it.. MS has a big card to play with the cloud... When the paradigm shift happens they could re enter the market for ultra portable devices... Do what Apple did in the 2000's... Now that they have some practice in hardware. With the arrival of 5g, cloud etc and battery tech lagging, miniaturisation limitations.. The 2020's is up for the grabs IMHO
  • Will the next paradigm shift be towards handheld physical devices? How much more can such things improve? The next paradigm shift might be some sort of wearable or even implantable AR device. I think input methods are the biggest hurdle. AR/MR input methods are currently terrible.
  • Another brain-dead idea from lazy people looking for easy solutions. The attractiveness of mobile apps for most users is not just in what they can do, but also the convenience of their accessibility. That they run on phone form-factor devices, something they're likely to take with them most places or everywhere, is part of what solves a problem for the user (how can I use this app regardless of where I am). This is not an issue that is resolved by making Android apps more easily accessible on PC form-factor devices, simply because these are not devices most people take with them where they are most likely to find apps useful. Most users of apps on phones now are likely to find Android apps on a PC form-factor device about as useful as Windows apps in the same situation, i.e. not really. Making it easier to use Android apps on a PC form-factor device running some incarnation of Windows, which as has already been pointed out is already possible, is NOT going to magically solve any of Microsoft's problems.
  • So true. The only caveat I would mention is that they should keep pouring serious resources into Your Phone integration. Cherry pick the Dell Mobile connect team if needs be. Not having to take our phone out of our pocket, or get up and go find our phone is a BIG thing that they've only scratched the surface on. There's lots of times when I grab my laptop (which is always by my side in the TV room) to do something, only to realize I need my phone for two factor authentication, to text a friend, or some other reason... only to remember said phone is in on the kitchen table of course...
  • I think what you are seeing here is prep work for smaller mobile devices. If you remember that Core OS is not just about Centaurus, but an entire class of devices that could have several form factors. So while Android functionality on a 9 inch tablet might be counter intuitive, it would actually make sense on an andromeda class device. Yes you would have windows apps but you would also be able to use those apps that aren't on windows, which are things like banking apps etc. For Centaurus this is probably not that big a deal. if you view Windows Core OS as a potential ecosystem with several devices by several OEM's then yes this could be a very big deal.
  • IF that's true, you make an excellent point. Unfortunately I'll admit to becoming very jaded on the subject. I've personally given up all hope that MS and its OEMs will ever re-enter the small form factor market, even though it seems like total insanity not to at least want to. I guess I've consigned myself to today's reality of laptops... laptops... and more laptops. Which isn't all bad, because laptops are actually getting really interesting again. But let's hope your right.
  • Actually it doesn't make sense at all for Andromeda because these apps will also need to be optimised or designed that they are not distinctive from the design language used by O/S. Ask yourself this why would any developer go through all the trouble in repackaging win32 apps and creating uwp apps if you could shoehorn an android app into windows without any work or minimal work? This completely destroys everything Microsoft has done to unify the O/S across every single device (at the same time providing a massive leg up to Google in the process) and with AOSP Android they will have to re-work alot of APIs and re-do all that work again to make android compatible across the devices. Which also means introducing android based malware into Windows. Plus all the other developers will have to maintain another variant of an android app so they are patched against API changes etc - so you have that App gap issue once again. Thus in short making them look like retards. Not to mention without the GMS suite embedded into the Android O/S they get ZERO access to the playstore.
  • There is no 'license fee' for 'Google Play Services'. An OEM just has to follow Google Android guideline. Like not to pack another OS with Android (This make CoreOS getting Google Play Services license difficult), not to install another third party Android Store (OEM can have their own Android app store though) and preinstall 13 Google Apps.
  • Which one would you choose? Mail.
    1. WCOS ver Mail app.
    2 Office365 ver Outlook
    3. Android ver Outlook.
    4. Android ver Gmail app. OneNote, To-Do and such.
    1. UWP version.
    2. Android version. News.
    1. WCOS ver MS News.
    2. Android ver Google Newsstand
    3. Android ver MS News.
    4. Pin using Edge Chromium. Browser.
    1. Edge Chromium with extensions.
    2. Android Chrome.
    3. Android Edge. Reddit and such.
    1. Android ver Reddit.
    2. WCOS (3rd party) Reddit.
    3. Pin using Edge Chromium. Banking.
    1. web.
    2. Android app. Messenger, Line, etc.
    1. Android ver.
    2. UWP ver.
    3. Edge Chromium ver. Game.
    1. Android games.
    2. GamePass for PC. Coupon apps or member cards e.g. MacD, convenience store, restaurant, electronics.
    1. Pin using Edge Chromium.
    2. Android app. My choice?
    UWP or WCOS build-in apps for mail/news reading, OneNote and To-Do.
    UWP or web for messengers. (web > UWP because 1. I can mod them 2. no need to install and I don't need'em running in the background ).
    Browser... why wouldn't you want a PC browser with extensions?
    Mobile game vs Xbox games? Xbox games.
    I'd choose web version for banking.
    Coupon apps... most of'em only available on Android. Transition takes times. No choice. So yeah, I think it will help, to some extent.
  • Most of those Android apps will not work since they require Google Play Services to function. Microsoft won't be able to package Play Services directly into their solution.
  • Mail, Messenger, News and such, why would you want an Android version even if GCM works?
    Coupon apps, why would you care if notification won't work? All I need is the bar-code.
    Android games, I don't need notification and I'm not interested in any stones or crystals.
  • So you will have a bunch of broken apps that you have to sideload?
  • Mail: I use Outlook on Android and PC, moreso on Android.
    OneNote: I use this on Android and PC equally.
    News: Don't use it.
    Browser: I use Edge equally on Android and PC, I also use Chrome on PC for sites that Edge doesn't load properly (and conversely I use Edge for some sites that Chrome doesn't load properly).
    Reddit: Irrelevant to me.
    Banking: App and Website, some functionality isn't available in the app so I have to use the site.
    Messenger: Android moreso because the Messenger on PC is slow as Hell.
    Games: I mostly play games on my Game console, rarely on PC (and never games from the Windows Store), occasionally on Android.
    Coupon Apps: Always Android. Plus I'll add another one: Transit passes: Google Pay, there literally isn't an alternative on Windows to use.
  • Rather than see Android on Windows I'd prefer to see Windows on Android. The failure of Windows Phone was no Apps. The beauty of Windows Phone was the Metro Menu and the Live Tiles. I think Microsoft should create the Metro Menu with the Live Tiles features for Android. They've put all their other apps on Android now, so they should be able to feed the live data from Outlook Email, Calendar, Tasks, etc, and have an API so other vendors can push to it. There are a few attempts available on Google Play but with Microsoft's resources they should be able to do a better job. The Microsoft Launcher they've currently created for Android is lame by comparison.
  • But WCOS isn't a not-windows, the Windows Phone.
    WCOS is for every HW architecture (x86, x64, arm and future ones) and every possible form factors (AR, MR, Xbox, IOT, Hub, 2in1, foldable, scrollable, small, dual screen, which ever form factors future will throw at us). Dubai, India and other countries is working with MS to delivery IOT + AI + Azure + ML water delivery system.
    General Electric is working with MS for electricity delivery.
    Singapore is doing the smart city thing. Australia is doing the agriculture thing.
    Samsung's smart appliances. Arcade cabinets, AI cashiers, Drones, surveillance. Walmart, Walgreen, Nike, Starbucks, LG, car makers, 95% of fortune 500, etc
    Military and surgical is using Hololens.