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  1. ogr8's Avatar
    As discussed in this post, it should be easy to do. Would this provide a path for Microsoft in the mobile space? Or is there some reason it would be a mistake?
    06-19-2016 05:04 AM
  2. xandros9's Avatar
    Microsoft already had that functionality for a short time and there was a lot of debate about it.

    And it's not easy to do.

    1. Google Play Services

    Many apps require Google Play Services and that won't run on our phones. Lacking Play Services means no Snapchat, etc. Although some apps do work without it or can be fooled into working, it's too much trouble and likely unreliable.

    2. Fitting in the ecosystem

    Since "Project Astoria" ran APKs largely unmodified, it alienated Windows developers who put in the effort making/learning to code for Windows Phone. They also did not fit into the Universal App thing MS is promoting.

    3. Performance/Reliability

    Android phones do Android better than anything, many would think, why get a second-rate "Android" phone when they can get a real one?

    4. Blackberry

    Blackberry has already done this and see where they ended up. It torpedoes native app development for a "good enough" short-term solution which only harms in the long run. Sure, it bought time for Blackberry 10 to be usable to many, but eh.

    Maybe you would want to poke around on Crackberry.
    06-19-2016 06:15 AM
  3. ogr8's Avatar
    I think under this circumstance a windows phone would still be a device that runs windows, but can also run android apps.

    A windows app for such a device would still be preferred, and can deliver continuum.

    I must confess I use surface tablet/pc, but not a windows phone. I love having a pen and that has stopped my using a windows mobile so far.

    To your points:
    As you say, this is not a solutions for every app.
    1. Yes there is already google play services, but this is not ready to run out of the box, and I would expect more limited than running on the Linux on android. The more popular the app, the more important that windows has its own app anyway, that can also run on a surface pro etc. This would be more about total number of apps than using the android app for a really core app.
    2. Changing direction is painful, but sometimes the old directions are just not sound. Xamarin plays a role in enabling windows as the development platform for everybody. But not one is going to bother with windows apps for the mobile marketplace on current trends and something has to be done.

    3. Because it can run continuum, and do many things the android phone cannot. If you want an android phone..then a windows phone will not be an answer. But if you want a windows phone with all your core functions delivered by windows that can also basically run any android app so you will not be left out, then it would be appealing.

    4. As you point out this is a real risk. That if you are only a poor clone of an another system it is not enough. But Blackberry did not also have millions of another device type the way windows does. Continuum show real promise...same apps as on your windows tablet on your phone, but there still needs to be a supply of the other less core apps.

    Blackberry largely lost that core reason to use the device in the first place. For Microsoft, that reason is there with Microsoft apps being able to run windows 10 everywhere.

    All you points are a big part of the debate. But I do feel the answers to these points are there, but there is a lot to consider to get it right.
    06-19-2016 07:15 AM
  4. kaktus1389's Avatar
    I don't see why do you need to make Windows run Android apps if you have android running them? There are tools available for developers to port their apps from iOS and android to Windows so I miss the point of having android apps runnable on Windows.
    06-19-2016 10:34 AM
  5. xandros9's Avatar
    I think under this circumstance a windows phone would still be a device that runs windows, but can also run android apps.

    A windows app for such a device would still be preferred, and can deliver continuum.

    I must confess I use surface tablet/pc, but not a windows phone. I love having a pen and that has stopped my using a windows mobile so far.

    To your points:
    As you say, this is not a solutions for every app.
    1. Yes there is already google play services, but this is not ready to run out of the box, and I would expect more limited than running on the Linux on android. The more popular the app, the more important that windows has its own app anyway, that can also run on a surface pro etc. This would be more about total number of apps than using the android app for a really core app.
    2. Changing direction is painful, but sometimes the old directions are just not sound. Xamarin plays a role in enabling windows as the development platform for everybody. But not one is going to bother with windows apps for the mobile marketplace on current trends and something has to be done.

    3. Because it can run continuum, and do many things the android phone cannot. If you want an android phone..then a windows phone will not be an answer. But if you want a windows phone with all your core functions delivered by windows that can also basically run any android app so you will not be left out, then it would be appealing.

    4. As you point out this is a real risk. That if you are only a poor clone of an another system it is not enough. But Blackberry did not also have millions of another device type the way windows does. Continuum show real promise...same apps as on your windows tablet on your phone, but there still needs to be a supply of the other less core apps.

    Blackberry largely lost that core reason to use the device in the first place. For Microsoft, that reason is there with Microsoft apps being able to run windows 10 everywhere.

    All you points are a big part of the debate. But I do feel the answers to these points are there, but there is a lot to consider to get it right.
    1. The core apps are what people are going to sideload if Windows ran Android, and they often need Play Services rendering the Android idea useless before it even takes off. Sure, there are some people who can use the odd APK, but its not worth it.

    2. If Microsoft lets its UWP be compromised by Android apps, then it may be compromising its entire future as an ecosystem. If Android is thrown in, then many will just submit an Android app and call it a day. It won't fit in the design guidelines, it may not even work right. And why get Windows with the same but handicapped or inferior apps if you're going to get the same as an Android phone? Sometimes for the same price?

    3. Continuum is cool, but it isn't a killer app. Not yet at least. Continuum needs UWP apps that can adapt to different screen sizes on the fly, not Android apps (which can't easily do that) to really be useful.

    And what can a Windows Phone do that Android cannot? Its arguably the worst at using Microsoft's own services.
    Nothing beats Android in features.

    And you've forgotten the Play Services point.
    If I could use any Android app I wanted without too much pain on Blackberry 10, I would be using Blackberry 10.
    But I'm not. I was still left out on Blackberry. No Play Services means no core Android apps.

    4. I'm believe that Windows Mobile WILL become a "clone" with its own nice UX.
    Windows desktop will be fine with it's own legacy programs and lesser need for mobile apps.
    They may be tied together now, but Android only stands to become a liability.
    06-19-2016 01:24 PM
  6. ogr8's Avatar
    ]We may have each been still missing each others points.

    To give perspective, and I am involved in software development. We have teams who develop systems, with server code, browser code and also components that are apps.

    Windows recently announced and pre-released Ubuntu on Android. The team I am working with has 9 developers. It was 5 on Apple, 4 on Windows. The announcement of Ubuntu on Android has provided utility that has switched 3 (1/3 of the team) from Apple to Windows so this team is now 7 on Windows, 2 on Apple. Key software utilities like the real rsync etc available on windows.

    But the people switched from Apple to Windows not just to run those Ubuntu utilities. The switched for all the touch and pen facilities and the apps on windows. But still having access to those Ubuntu utilities the team members use on servers meant the team members could now switch. Take 'rsync' there have been windows versions before, but as free software maintenance is a hassle and it dies.
    Ok, is a small case, but if you want windows to expand in other areas it is the type of success to see repeated over and over.

    To go over the points where I think I am missing what you are saying and you are missing what I was trying to say:

    1. By 'core apps', i mean the main apps that a person uses all the time. I was never suggesting Android as a way to run these apps. To me, if I am to decide to have a windows phone, then it has to tick all the boxes as an ecosystem that can provide your core apps. I believe windows DOES have all those core apps.

    The worry for me is non-core apps. Like my childs sport association launches an app showing when the matches are on, and it is only on android and apps. This s a real example. If only they would use Xamarin maybe they could easily produce a windows app.
    Now it could be that some people feel that people who may have 'app anxiety' about possibly needing an app not available on windows mobile should just go buy android or apple and go away, but i think providing a solution for these people will help windows mobile succeed.

    All of what I meant by 'core apps' are available on windows. To have the experience of these core apps on windows is why you choose windows. Resorting to an Andoid app is what you do when you need that app at a specific time and the alternative to running such an app from time to time under android on windows is either have two phones or abandon windows.

    2. Again, the idea is not that people would buy into the windows in order to run android apps. The idea is to have people who want to run windows apps, get access to other things they may need from time to time.

    3. Agree continuum is cool but no winner yet. But I believe we have only seen the start and it could become a winner. Again the idea is not to have programmers writing android apps for use on windows, which would be crazy. The idea is to have the biggest possible market for windows app through having as many as possible users on windows, and if that means addressing 'app anxiety' through android, then it is worth it.

    Yes there is a risk that a particular developer will decide. "Hey, I windows mobile users can get my app anyway through android, so i will not bother writing a windows version". But there currently a risk that consumers decide "I will not choose windows phone as the ecosystem is too small, and that leads to developers to deciding, " why write a version for windows mobile, there are not enough people using it".

    4. I can certainly suggest that the Microsoft decision to partner with unbuntu to produce Ubuntu on windows is looking like a great decision rather than a liability. I think the same could be done with the most popular 'mobile linux', which is android.

    I want windows mobile to succeed. I want the market for windows mobile apps to be great. But i think pathways to address 'app anxiety', given the current state of the windows mobile marketplace, are required.

    Be able to run Android apps is not a reason to buy a Windows phone. But if you already have a reason to buy a windows phone, then being able to also run android apps could make that windows phone you already want a practical and more workable choice.

    Android may have bought time for the Blackberry 10 and allowed more people to buy a Blackberry 10, but it is not the reason to choose a blackberry 10. Did Blackberry continue to provide the reason to buy one? In the end the Blackberry had an insufficient ecosystem for their own apps. Microsoft has the whole windows ecosystem that funds their app development capability, and the continuum type promise of a consistent environment i feel is compelling.

    I want a Surface phone. A windows phone with a pen, that extends the same ecosystem I use on my surface tablet/desktop. But I do need a device that can also occasionally run some of those many apps out there that are currently only available on android and apple.

    p.s. Not sure of your point on play services, . to get it working on windows 10 mobile. But from my perspective, this is the run the exact type of app needs to be native in windows or use the windows equivalent. Anyway, appreciate the discussion.
    Last edited by ogr8; 06-19-2016 at 10:12 PM. Reason: add ps
    06-19-2016 08:27 PM
  7. Giddora's Avatar
    It totally undermines our privacy if we involve anything Google-related on our hardware.
    06-20-2016 06:10 AM
  8. xandros9's Avatar
    ]We may have each been still missing each others points.

    To give perspective, and I am involved in software development. We have teams who develop systems, with server code, browser code and also components that are apps.

    Windows recently announced and pre-released Ubuntu on Android. The team I am working with has 9 developers. It was 5 on Apple, 4 on Windows. The announcement of Ubuntu on Android has provided utility that has switched 3 (1/3 of the team) from Apple to Windows so this team is now 7 on Windows, 2 on Apple. Key software utilities like the real rsync etc available on windows.

    But the people switched from Apple to Windows not just to run those Ubuntu utilities. The switched for all the touch and pen facilities and the apps on windows. But still having access to those Ubuntu utilities the team members use on servers meant the team members could now switch. Take 'rsync' there have been windows versions before, but as free software maintenance is a hassle and it dies.
    Ok, is a small case, but if you want windows to expand in other areas it is the type of success to see repeated over and over.

    To go over the points where I think I am missing what you are saying and you are missing what I was trying to say:

    1. By 'core apps', i mean the main apps that a person uses all the time. I was never suggesting Android as a way to run these apps. To me, if I am to decide to have a windows phone, then it has to tick all the boxes as an ecosystem that can provide your core apps. I believe windows DOES have all those core apps.

    The worry for me is non-core apps. Like my childs sport association launches an app showing when the matches are on, and it is only on android and apps. This s a real example. If only they would use Xamarin maybe they could easily produce a windows app.
    Now it could be that some people feel that people who may have 'app anxiety' about possibly needing an app not available on windows mobile should just go buy android or apple and go away, but i think providing a solution for these people will help windows mobile succeed.

    All of what I meant by 'core apps' are available on windows. To have the experience of these core apps on windows is why you choose windows. Resorting to an Andoid app is what you do when you need that app at a specific time and the alternative to running such an app from time to time under android on windows is either have two phones or abandon windows.

    2. Again, the idea is not that people would buy into the windows in order to run android apps. The idea is to have people who want to run windows apps, get access to other things they may need from time to time.

    3. Agree continuum is cool but no winner yet. But I believe we have only seen the start and it could become a winner. Again the idea is not to have programmers writing android apps for use on windows, which would be crazy. The idea is to have the biggest possible market for windows app through having as many as possible users on windows, and if that means addressing 'app anxiety' through android, then it is worth it.

    Yes there is a risk that a particular developer will decide. "Hey, I windows mobile users can get my app anyway through android, so i will not bother writing a windows version". But there currently a risk that consumers decide "I will not choose windows phone as the ecosystem is too small, and that leads to developers to deciding, " why write a version for windows mobile, there are not enough people using it".

    4. I can certainly suggest that the Microsoft decision to partner with unbuntu to produce Ubuntu on windows is looking like a great decision rather than a liability. I think the same could be done with the most popular 'mobile linux', which is android.

    I want windows mobile to succeed. I want the market for windows mobile apps to be great. But i think pathways to address 'app anxiety', given the current state of the windows mobile marketplace, are required.

    Be able to run Android apps is not a reason to buy a Windows phone. But if you already have a reason to buy a windows phone, then being able to also run android apps could make that windows phone you already want a practical and more workable choice.

    Android may have bought time for the Blackberry 10 and allowed more people to buy a Blackberry 10, but it is not the reason to choose a blackberry 10. Did Blackberry continue to provide the reason to buy one? In the end the Blackberry had an insufficient ecosystem for their own apps. Microsoft has the whole windows ecosystem that funds their app development capability, and the continuum type promise of a consistent environment i feel is compelling.

    I want a Surface phone. A windows phone with a pen, that extends the same ecosystem I use on my surface tablet/desktop. But I do need a device that can also occasionally run some of those many apps out there that are currently only available on android and apple.

    p.s. Not sure of your point on play services, . to get it working on windows 10 mobile. But from my perspective, this is the run the exact type of app needs to be native in windows or use the windows equivalent. Anyway, appreciate the discussion.
    Perhaps.

    If you're talking about that Ubuntu Bash thing on Windows 10, and I see you're looking at it from the development side. I see largely from the consumer side, Ubuntu is a nice thing for those involved but its not a good parallel to Android compatibility.

    1. OK, if I understand right, you're saying that Windows 10 Mobile has the essentials, but Android compatibility would be great for those niche apps that aren't on the Windows Store. And that offering Android compatibility would be the solution to those who would otherwise shy away from the platform. That's what I took away from that point, so correct me if I missed anything.

    I like that thinking in points 2 and 3. The thing is that developers just going Android isn't a risk, but a guarantee for many less-dedicated developers who support multiple platforms. I just want to point out that there is no distinction between Android apps being for core apps or the small ones. People will use it as they see fit. I wouldn't be surprised if there were people attempting to install Microsoft's own Android apps.

    4. I still believe Ubuntu on Windows is hardly a suitable analogy since its largely developer-facing and Android sideloading is anyone's game. I do not believe most consumers will think to their needed Ubuntu application when considering Windows 10.

    OK here we go: I think the crux of your argument is that Android app availability will make Windows 10 Mobile more appealing to consumers and help break the "not-enough-apps, not-enough-users" cycle. Fair enough. I want to point out though that Windows 10 Mobile will need the average joe to succeed. Us enthusiasts and enthusiast fence-sitters aren't enough to turn the tide and I believe you are overestimating the draw of Windows 10 Mobile.

    Anyways, ignoring the developer alienation, Android apps are not going to help because while on paper it can help some people choose; in practice it is not easy. Everyone has a storefront that makes app installation easy and centralized. We'd be asking people to go outside it. Asking them to scour the internet for APKs or do the work necessary to get the Play Store running. Not very user friendly and I highly doubt that Windows 10 Mobile can compensate in the eyes of most.

    Sure, we see its benefits, but most won't. They'll see a phone with a bunch of squares on the home screen, bugs the iPhone doesn't have (as of 10586 at least) and a phone that will make them jump through hoops to get the apps they want, which may not even work or work reliably.

    Microsoft has put its ecosystem on iOS and Android. You can get a legitimate Android phone, run all your favorite Microsoft apps AND those Android ones you need with no (or significantly less) reliability issues, no installation fuss, no need to hack anything in like the Play Store...
    Windows 10 Mobile with an Android compatibility layer will never be able to compete on a grand scale.

    (And then while Play Services CAN be installed to fool some applications into running if they only check that it exists, but it doesn't actually work properly. We're sorry but Play Services has stopped. I've been through this on Blackberry 10, it sounds like it works and it'll all be fine, but its less user-friendly than many will deal with.)

    Blackberry 10 did have reasons to buy it. It had a great UI and unique features like the use of gestures and the Blackberry Hub. (also physical keyboards) And saying Microsoft has a superior ecosystem isn't the best counter because these phones could still hook into whatever service we needed most of the time and iPhone and Android phones often get the best Microsoft has to offer first, before Windows.

    I spent some time on Crackberry when I had a Z10 and Q10. A mobile OS that makes the user scour the internet for a specific version of an app and try to troubleshoot compatibility won't be around in the mainstream market for long. Windows 10 Mobile has enough shortcomings.
    06-20-2016 09:55 AM
  9. Kimmo Toivanen's Avatar
    This is how I think about the general question:

    MS want's people to use their software and services. They do not care too much on what platform they are used. MS may have something else cooking in the back, but currently they are pretty much closing mobile hardware while still developing W10 on mobile.

    Users have more complex situation, we want software and services but we also may prefer one or another platform. Some rely on apps that friends, relatives and other people are using, but which are not available on all platforms. I currently prefer W10 on desktop and WP8.1 on mobile, but I am also experimenting with cheap android phone - with squares on main screen ;)

    Developers have acquired skills, tools and devices and maybe some other preference to one or another platform. With W10 Mobile devices (hardware) left fully on OEMs (I'm not counting mythical Surface mobile device for a reason), I don't know why developers would not expand or move to iOS or android. Xamarin may help them in that. Xamarin could help iOS and android developers to cross boundary between the two as well, if they invest in learning .net and new tools.

    What comes to MS UWP strategy, their hardware decision makes it looks like this: desktop tablet XBox Hololens (IOT).

    Now the reason not to count mythical Surface mobile device: same as not to count HP Elite X3: they are 100% enterprice products and do not exist in consumer space. What enterprise software they may need, can be created in-house or subcontracted or bought from other companies. It could be UWP apps running on desktop as well (when companies start to migrate from Win7). W10 Mobile may have a place in enterprice world, assuming employees either use another phone for personal use OR will be happy with W10 Mobile app selection at that time.

    What I would see more beneficial, would be installing and running android apps on W10 desktop. As long as I could install app from W10 store, as long as I would not have to care on what software stack (.net, android, Java, web) it is running on, as long as it would not hog resources (I'm thinking about you, BlueStacks, memory thief ;) ) and as long as it would uninstall cleanly - I would be happy and MS could take their cut of the app price. If Google Play is involved, I don't care - I already use GMail and Google search without logging out. To fight against Chromebooks (although so far I have only ever seen 1 device). I bet there are way more W10 devices than there are Chromebooks so even Google could benefit from it?
    06-21-2016 10:43 AM
  10. bloodyripper_au's Avatar
    All I wanted to say if app developers refuse to produce their apps on a windows platform, will Microsoft hurry up and produce similar apps for the windows platform and give them away just to stick it to them. As what I guess one would call a Microsoft fan boy who has all my gear running your OS having to compete in a household with apple fan girls. they are sticking it to me at the moment with the snap chat. how they have active filters that put images over their faces etc... lol.....
    06-25-2016 06:32 PM
  11. xandros9's Avatar
    All I wanted to say if app developers refuse to produce their apps on a windows platform, will Microsoft hurry up and produce similar apps for the windows platform and give them away just to stick it to them.
    CyberDust and WindUp appeared on Windows Phone, were cross-platform (not WindUp though) and arguable Snapchat competitors.

    Nobody used them.

    EDIT: I forgot to mention, this was also before Snapchat got all those fancy filters and face recognition effects that are so popular now.
    Last edited by xandros9; 06-26-2016 at 03:12 PM.
    06-25-2016 08:20 PM

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