Why Microsoft's Surface Team Should Warm Up to Android
If you've tried the new Surface tablets that work with Microsoft's Windows 8 Metro interface, you may have taken to the interface, but buyers of these tablets have to ask where the apps for them are. Microsoft is well behind Apple and the Android platform in terms of creating a healthy ecosystem for apps. There are reports, though, that Surface tablets could begin to run Android apps, and if they do, that could create a healthy market for them in a way that Microsoft probably never considered.
BlueStacks App Player has been available for some time for Windows users who want to run Android apps on PCs. And late last year, BlueStacks App Player appeared in a version for Mac users. Basically, BlueStacks lets you run Android apps through emulation.
In a post called "Could Android Save Microsoft's Surface?," TechRadar U.K. reports:
"Imagine if every Windows 8 tablet could run Android apps - apps designed specifically for touchscreen devices, apps that don't require you to wait until the developers decide whether Windows is worth the effort, apps that aren't available in the Windows Store. Wouldn't that be great?"
"Lenovo certainly thinks so: it's just signed a deal to put BlueStacks' Android emulator on around 40 million Windows machines - and it's not the only one, as BlueStacks has also signed deals with AMD and MSI."
Android's barnstorming success on smartphones has been driven by a healthy ecosystem for apps, and Microsoft's tablets could suddenly have an open door to the same ecosystem with BlueStacks' technology.
There is just one problem: It's very much not part of the Microsoft culture to consider the benefits of allowing users to run multiple operating systems on individual PCs. Slowly but surely, the company has realized that it has to cater to multiple operating systems in data centers and through virtualization. But that has come by force.
Because BlueStacks runs Android apps through emulation, Surface tablets could run Android apps as well as apps created for Windows 8 and Surface. It would be the best of both worlds. Will Microsoft take kindly to the idea? We'll see.