Microsoft copies Apple, puts Android apps on Windows 11

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Microsoft copies Apple, puts Android apps on Windows 11
Running phone apps on a desktop or notebook. Now where have I heard of that before?
Photo: Microsoft

Windows 11 borrows a page from Apple’s playbook and can run applications created for smartphones. In the case of Microsoft’s just-announced operating system update, users will be able to install Android apps from Amazon’s software store.

That’s quite similar to M1-based Macs’ ability to run iOS and iPadOS software as easily as macOS apps.

The news came Thursday during an online event at which Microsoft took the wraps off Windows 11. Other changes coming in the next Windows update include a redesigned Start menu and a centered Task Bar. Microsoft Teams is built in, as is Xbox Game Pass.

Microsoft is likely making the move to run mobile apps on its desktop machines for the same reason Apple did: Some services are available only though mobile apps. Without a web equivalent, accessing these on a notebook or desktop is impossible.

Windows 11 + Android

Microsoft’s goal seems to be to make Android applications as easy to use as native Windows ones. “Apps will be listed in the new Windows store, and Microsoft is also partnering with Intel to use its Intel Bridge technology to make this a reality,” said The Verge.

Computers running Windows 11 won’t have access to the Google Play app store, though. Instead, they will have to get their Android software from Amazon, which operates a separate store for its Fire tablets. Google’s own applications are not listed there.

Microsoft has yet to name a release date for Windows 11, but does plan to have it out by the end of 2021. It’ll be a free upgrade.