Windows apps on iOS and Android - The future of Windows 10 may be virtualization | Page 2 | Windows Central

Windows apps on iOS and Android - The future of Windows 10 may be virtualization

Windows apps on iOS and Android - The future of Windows 10 may be virtualization

What if iPhone or Android users could run Microsoft's universal apps right on their phone?

Interestingly enough the next after this article was published Microsoft acquired Xamarin. Xamarin is a well-known company that creates software tools for making apps for iOS, Android and Windows platforms that can share common code.

Microsoft's vision of Windows as a Service (WaaS) may be more than just a steady stream of updates to users of the Windows 10 operating system. Virtualization of Windows 10 across many devices may be the ultimate end goal by Redmond according to my sources.

Such a plan would certainly give new meaning to Universal Windows Platform (UWP).

HP Elite x3 and virtualized Windows 10

HP Elite x3

Early signs of the virtualization approach are already being implemented with the forthcoming HP Elite x3 smartphone running Windows 10 Mobile. That phone was just announced this week at Mobile World Congress. While the Elite x3 cannot run classic Windows desktop apps directly, it can run them indirectly through HP's Workspace technology. With that program users can run legacy apps through the cloud to the phone.

HP believes the ultimate future for enterprise is with the Universal Windows Platform (UWP) but acknowledge that many Win32 apps may never be rewritten to Microsoft's preferred platform.

HP Workspace works by creating a collection of desktop apps that run remotely on a server. Companies then let employees run virtualized desktop apps through the cloud to the Elite x3 via Continuum and the HP Mobile Extender or HP Desk Dock. Part of the reason why the Elite x3 does not launch until later this summer is so that HP can work with companies on virtualizing their legacy software in anticipation of device deployment.

HP Workspace is essentially a more sophisticated version of Remote Desktop, but the backend and connection are secured since it can leverage Citrix. The reason so many companies are reportedly interested in the Elite x3 is due employees being able to access sensitive data and applications through one protected device.

While current 'bring your own device' (BYOD) programs exist in corporate environments, they occur in response to the lack of a viable and secure alternative and not because an iPhone or Android device is a superior solution. The promise of a Windows-everywhere future, however, could turn the tide of such programs should HP's Elite x3 prove to be successful.

Limitations, of course, are present with virtualization, but it does steer clear of the need to run a phone using x86 Intel hardware. Microsoft and Intel are exploring such devices but there is no evidence that either company is close to releasing a phone that could replicate an actual "PC in the pocket".

As an alternative, Microsoft's Azure cloud service and virtualized environments can do the heavy lifting so that a Windows phone (via Continuum) becomes an end-terminal while accomplishing the same goal.

It should be noted that HP's solution does require remote servers hosting the PC software and is not available to regular consumers.

Universal apps and two-way Bridges

According to sources familiar with Microsoft's plans the company is reportedly exploring extending its Hyper-V and App-V virtualization software to different OSs including iOS and Android.

The intended purpose would be to let consumers run some version of Windows – and apps - through all devices via a type of micro-Hyper-V or App-V environment. Just how such a feat is going to be accomplished is beyond the scope of this article, but it sounds very much like Windows Bridges in reverse.

Last year, Microsoft unveiled their Bridges plan during Build 2015 for bringing apps to Windows 10 and Windows 10 Mobile from other ecosystems. At the time, there were four Microsoft Bridges in early development proposed for developers:

  • Project Westminster - For porting Web apps
  • Project Centennial - For porting Classic Win32 apps
  • Project Islandwood - For porting iOS apps
  • Project Astoria - For emulating Android apps

However, in November of last year I reported that Astoria was put on hold indefinitely due to a variety of reasons and that is still the case.

What Microsoft did not discuss in 2015, conversely, was any plans to go in the opposite direction: how to bring Windows apps to iOS and Android. Microsoft could continue to write such apps natively, but what if there were another way?

Taking the bridge metaphor of being a two-way system to its logical conclusion would make sense for the company. Virtualization of the OS and apps would be a plausible route as many of the technologies needed to implement such a system already exist.

It is not yet clear if this Windows app virtualization is something that Microsoft will talk about this year at Build, but it is possible. Microsoft's Build conference for developers is set to take place March 30 through April 1 in San Francisco.

Assuming this information is correct – and I have little reason to doubt it - Microsoft would be able to have Windows apps (and maybe even Windows 10) run on competing platforms thus making 'universal apps' truly live up to their name. Once implemented, such a system would give more incentive to developers to make and distribute Windows apps (UWP) due to the larger consumer base reached. However, to get the native experience users would be incentivised to use a 'true' Windows 10 Mobile device. Thus, this strategy would boost the Windows Store and Windows 10 as a whole.

Finally, it should be noted that many of the Bridge technologies proposed last year have yet to become a reality for developers (e.g. Centennial and Islandwood) so there is no telling when this Windows OS and app virtualization project could be implemented.

The prospect of running Windows apps on any platform someday is certainly tantalizing, and it looks to be an increasingly plausible one too. Hopefully, we'll hear more about these efforts shortly.

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Comments

Innovation is important, but so is marketing. Even with 200+ million devices running on W10, the app flow is still very weak than it should for that number imo. Sometimes it seems like MS is going in too many directions. They should perfect W10m first. It's even way overdue for public release. After the last insider release, I actually had to go back to 8.1. Because it was the worst performing build on my Icon so far.

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What MS apps would ios and android want to run beside the one they already have? Office and cortana

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Office and Cortana? Are you kidding me? They are already available for both of them.

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Ok... what is left then? Instagram v0.91 Beta? There is not a single App on Windows that works better than any of the 30 Apps that does the same thing six times better running native.

No matter how many developers write code for Windows, Nobody will want it.
If the programmers are serious, they learn how to write for Android os iOS.

 

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Yes better than we have :3

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My thoughts on this, big picture are virtually identical to my thoughts on having Android and iOS versions of MS apps that we are all abuzz about last year:

Whether both plans are actual MS strategy, or one is just consequence, either way, the design is ultimately twofold - plan A: to intice non-Windows users to use Windows and grow the platform or plan B: to provide Microsoft a refuge should their dedicated efforts fail.

Because of B, I think Microsoft will ultimately be okay regardless of what happens to their dedicated platform.

But as to the success of A: on paper, it should work swimmingly (and yes, I'm STILL optimistic - TRULY) however, I just can't get out of my head the HUGE risk of backfire by way of creating a "why buy the cow when you can get the milk free" sentiment to actually disincentivize migration.

The outcome of last year's gambit still has yet to be determined, but it is an inherently "high risk for high reward" move. Now, this move is just like it only even more extreme, and ergo, even higher risk for even higher potential reward.

I'm not so naïve that I fail to recognize the chance of this whole thing going all kinds of wrong. However, I am adopting a position of basic trust in the MS leadership as if little old me is aware of this, they most certainly are as well, and they will have been able to study it, and weigh it much better than I could ----------- or any of you could, for that matter (just want the "doom pontification squad" here to keep that point in mind. Seems like this tends to slip theirs all too readily!)

So I'm keeping myself guardedly optimistic, and withholding judgment until time has rendered its own judgment......AND SO SHOULD ---ALL--- OF YOU!!!!!! I mean it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Here's to hoping for the best!

Now, here's looking at the small-picture: Maybe this is stupid of me, but my instantaneous, knee-jerk response was to get really excited over the prospect of being able to use the UWP Windows 10 app (and eventual Android Central and iMore parallel apps) in all their glory right here on my iPhone, and no longer having to slog through Safari to get all my Mobile Nations goodness!!! :-)

Cheers!

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Christ. The endgame has nothing to do with virtualization, or "running Windows on x."

It is - as always - about the one group of people that Microsoft always treats the best...

DEVELOPERS
DEVELOPERS
DEVELOPERS
DEVELOPERS

Dan doesn't *quite* say it in the article, but it's so stinking obvious that the goal is to get devs on board with a strong write-once-run-everywhere promise.

Islandwood lets you port from iOS? Sure... But at that point it's trivial to go back the other way. Write a UWP app and it can compile for iOS, as native code. It would even have native controls. Hell, it wouldn't be hard to figure out how to target OS X as well.

Astoria - assuming it gets going again - would be the same. Write a UWP app and it can compile for Android.

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What if they could? no one would buy a windows phone

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Nobody is buying them already.

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What about the idea that mobile apps could be replaced by Web apps? I remember reading this a while back and it sounded really interesting:

http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2015/12/the-app-ocalypse-can-web-standards-make-mobile-apps-obsolete/

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Could also be a neat way to avoid the 30% apple tax.

Have a free virtualized W10 app, and the windows 10 app store as an optional download within it.

Then let ppl use the app store within the VM to make purchases of Office etc

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The iOS developer TOS explicitly forbids it. All purchases in an app must go through Apple App Store or it'll not be allowed to be published on the App Store.

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Focus on w10m... That is beta...beta...beta...beta for another year

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And that will die in beta Only

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 My head hurts I am just going to have to wait till the next Windows weekly and see what Paul and Mary jo say.

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Hey Daniel! U stole my mind!!! It's a very good way to close the so called App-Gap, cuz app developers would love to make people use their apps on Windows 10 PC using Android or iPhones (if not using Windows 10 mobile)... And they end up creating an app for W10M, and people will end up buying W10M!!

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Write once run anywhere.  It's the Java hype all over again.

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If MS pulls this off the biggest loser will be apple. Why would any one pay apple prices when you get the same app experience on any platform. It will come down to the best hardware to price ratio on what phone you buy.

 

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Of course it will be Android which will be the first choice. Not that unfinished and completely unpolished Crapdows Phone.

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MMMMM HMMMMMM.  To bad you cannot even make a dig at windows sound intellegent.  everyone knows lagdroid and crapple sound awesome...and CRAPDOWS sound like a 2 year old made it up....

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MS has shown to have the software engineering chops to make seemingly impossible "dreams" come true. I am just hoping that key pieces start coming to market soon and that adoption is essentially "universal".

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Nice article Daniel,Ms can port Windows apps to ios or android only in two cases.
1) if windows has more apps than ios or android.
2) if ios or android need windows apps...
Both the cases doesn't exists, so I doubt this BRIDGE project will be successful....

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Both of them do not exist, Android and iOS don't give a **** about Crapdows Phone Apps, infact I don't think there any serious App in Crapdows Phone which can be ported.

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You do realize that every time you use the word "Crapdows" you're basically shouting "don't take anything I say seriously because I'm just a troll", don't you?

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Here is the resident 2 year old who is butthurt because his friend who has a windows phone does many things his lagdroid or crapple phone can't.  Like take a sensible picture, last a full day on charge,  or use proper apps for work instead of taking naked selfies and fart sounds.

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So does virtualization mean you would have on your e.g. Android device have an icon "launch W10 virtualization"?. Click. Wait 15 seconds for the virtual W10 to launch and connect to cloud. Click in on a program icon in the virtual environment. Wait another 5 seconds. Yey. ;)

Posted via the Windows Central App for Android

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And what if ios/Android start doing the same? Wouldn't devs prefer writing ios/Android apps that can be virtualized to other OS's? What would be MS own advantage with this stategy? Another thought: Why ios/android users would prefer to use a virtualized app (that relies on good LTE/wifi) and spend data (provided they don't have unlimited data plans) instead of using the real app for their OS?

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Hahahahaha.. The first line I read was hilarious.. Crapdows Apps in iOS and Android LOL.. Another big joke by Microsoft.

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All I can say is this is really ambitious from Microsoft. As is their wont, they'd need lot of time to pull this off, and it might be too late when they're done.

Posted from Windows Central for Windows 10

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The horror

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Ms really care of them.. Oh meen

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Continuum and universal apps are needed.

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The biggest problem with this plan is 'the cloud'.  In order to run this virtual environment you need to be connected all the time.  I can do this today using RDP through continuum on my 950.  How is this revolutionary idea any better?

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I think we'll hear BIG news regarding Islandwood at BUILD in 5 weeks. It would be nice if the naysayers could just STFU until then.

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I'm stoked if this is true.

​Run a virtualized desktop > Install Bluestacks > Run the Android apps I want on W10M

 

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App streaming is nothing new or revolutionary. Current fixed line networks offer the performance of future 5G mobile networks. Surely there may be a few use cases for streaming apps on future mobile phones as there are now on wired networks, but most likely for years to come people will prefer 0-latency local apps that work also offline if needed.

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Daniel has immense belief in MS, even satya doesn't have this much of faith in MS. According to him, in a future date suddenly windows will turn around everything. Whatever MS does, Daniel has a strong and positive reason for it. Reality is MS is in big mess even bigger than wp8/wp8.1. We have seen 2 different version of android being released after the announcement of windows 10. Windows 10 is still work-in-mess and google is going to release another version of android.

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In another 'news'. No Xiaomi windows phone. What a surprise.

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[Kanye voice] Nutella doesn't care about Windows Phone people....

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Think I'll just take the short route then and switch to iOS. I've been using a Lumia 925 for 3 years now and have been stuck without an option for a proper upgrade. MWC was such a disappointment too.

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@Daniel, would you say that this strategy is pursued as a stopover to get the android and ios users to choose a native windows 10 device, or is it the final aim to bring windows 10 to all devices regardless the os that runs on it?

THIS> MS are aiming for WaaS so the device does not matter, and they do not care. If it sells more W10 devices (regardless of PC/mobile) great. But it doesn't matter as its all users on their apps/cloud/whatever no matter the OS. And maybe, just maybe, there are new W10M devices as a result for those who love them

 

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Yeah, lets look at this in reverse. If Android allowed me to run their OS on my WP and try their apps, its a way of letting me try before I buy an android device. I think if WP apps and or W10 was available to try on IOS or Android it has to have a positive effect on bringing people over. My office must have 50 people using Windows 8 and 10 and there's only a couple of WPhones. I think with an integrated dual usage it allows people to move over and into an OS that they are using every day. People must remember the general populist thinks leaving an OS is like leaving your life behind. I know people who will never leave IOS because they fear loosing their music library.

We have 12 people on the road full time who have apple phones with Windows 10 laptops (2 x devices). What Business would not want to reduce the amount of tech each person carries around and better still amalgamate the user experience so there is quicker start-up time for a new employee and reduce I.T issues because there is only one main device and OS to look after... I think this is good for business...

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Are the mobile chipsets powerful enough to handle virtualization?

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Lame idea. Windows Phone's features are unique on Windows 10 Mobile and the strenght of Windows is showing in those features and not applications already seen better on iOS or Android. I've just switched to iPhone and beside completly NOT missing Microsoft apps (it's better than on WP!) I'm very upset about minimalistic iOS itfself (as I thought I would be). Bring iOS apps TO Windows Platform and implement EVERYTHING very carefully watching every small detail. For example if I'm using Blutetooth on iOS it gives me every feature there is, like showing battery status of my connected devices - I've never seen this on WP. Another is bluetooth GATT service, non existent on WP. And wherever you look on Windows 10 Mobile there is something missing or done just not wright :(

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The death null of Windows Phone starts it's ring

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AFAIK Google is working on a new Chrome OS (maybe will have a different name)  that will be released somewhere by the end of this year. That OS is meant to completely get rid of Windows in the marketplace. Windows is dominant on the desktop right now. So was Nokia on the phone market. 

If Google manages to pull the same stunt on the desktop that they pulled on phones with devs adding apps to their market like crazy then well... MS will have to pack..

There is a concept that is called The Black Swan. A black swan is something that has never been seen before, nobody knows how it works, how it will affect the market. iPhone was a black swan. It came out of nowhere and chnaged the rules of the market forever. The same might be coming from google, or maybe even someone else. In three years from now you will look at this article and will realize that no matter what MS would have done or planned to do it would not have mattered anyway...

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Those who questioned Microsoft's commitment to Windows 10 mobile should read this article twice.

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Well look at Microsoft Mobile now, still ****, as in the OS is great albeit buggy, but the APPS are CRAP!
​It has been 9 months since this article and there are no ported apps from Android or IOS?!

I am sick of the promises of Microsoft to create a good mobile operating system, I've been with them since Windows phone 7, I am tired of waiting and I am moving to Android, coz Apple sucks!

It would be really nice if we had the apps, but the lack of apps and the shoddy apps MS have made comparatively for IOS and Android, I mean they own Facebook, LinkedIn, WhatsApp and yet those apps are crap, and they have managed to ****** up Skype!!!!

I give up with them!

Rant over :)

 

 

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There are no apps, but we are going to let all other operating systems run our apps...

Good luck with that, why should I want a clumsier program than the other 19 programs available on iOS/Android?

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Now if only they can figure out how to get all the other apps on WINDOWS OS'es,  that would be news.  The future of win10 is def. NOT apps running on andorid and IOS.  thats for sure.

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I have Most of those applications mentioned above except few chat messengers like fring, ebuddy etc as having any 1 of those will solve our requirements visit my website http://bestappsforandroidiphone.com

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Who cares,, if you are using Windows 10 apps your probably on Windows. Android bites a big knob, and Apple execs are knobs. I think MS should stop screwing around changing direction ever week and Stick to a plan of making Windows great again. Sure sell your apps on the other platforms, but for Christ sake make WIndows devices the place to go for the best features. Make programing simple and secure and low maintanence, and stop changing the crap out of everything with out telling people about it, I for one am sick of haivng to work 80 hour weeks to deal with the bloody nuclear fallout. I tell you what my if the client PCs at my Office get lock out of the server shares again im going to migrate the entire ******* office to unbuntu.   

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