Android Apps on Windows tablets and smartphones the key for Microsoft survival

I didn’t put a question mark at the end of this article title for a reason. I have a pretty strong opinion on the subject of operating systems and where we’re headed. I’m not a psychic so of course this is just my opinion on the issue and you’re encouraged to offer counter points or agreement down in the comment section below.

What seems quite clear to me is that the Android machine is pretty much unstoppable. The fact that Google is creating Android (not to discount what the mod community is able to accomplish) and has a vested interest in getting it onto as many devices as possible. Android ties into the Google ecosystem of services quite nicely if you haven’t noticed already.

I based my title on one aspect of mobile operating systems. Apps. App developers invest money and time in creating a great app. Until recently, app developers focused almost exclusively on the Apple devices because of their massive market share, especially in the tablet market. In the recent past, the market share has really changed and creating apps only on Apple devices seems illogical. Why would you miss out on all the revenue opportunities on these Android OS devices? The fact is most app developers must release 2 versions, one for Apple devices and one for Android based devices. To accomplish this task, app developers must invest more money into the idea because 2 different versions require different programming.

Enter Windows 8 and Windows RT to this discussion. Are you suggesting that a small segment of the tablet and mobile market that is Windows, will see app developers add a third version of their apps? I already explained that 2 different versions would be considered a hassle, so what would that make a third? A real hassle in my opinion. Considering the modest user base on Windows smartphones and Windows tablets, the demand isn’t there to gain those apps that exist currently on Apple and Android devices. If you think back just a couple years, many Android tablet owners complained about not enough tablet optimized apps. Look at how many Android tablets and devices it really took to come to market before the complaining stopped. Considering the slow Windows RT and Windows 8 adoption in the marketplace, the complaints about apps will continue for a much longer time in my opinion. When it comes to Windows, the incentive for app developers is what?

It’s quite clear that apps play a key role in whether consumers will buy a mobile device such as a tablet or smartphone. Pretty obvious statement I know. BlackBerry has a similar situation with their faltering smartphones. The have their own operating system and apps ecosystem. HP and their WebOS has already died. The Barnes & Noble Nook tablets were locked out of Google Play Store until recently. In that situation obviously B&N couldn’t make a go of it hoping people would buy apps from their own store. All these situations indicate how successful companies have been when going against the grain Android style.

Do I need to mention VHS vs. Beta? Beta went away and there was only one. How about Blu-Ray vs. HD DVD? One winner only. Two different formats generally doesn’t work. I understand that computers and operating systems are different, but in the history on computers, it’s safe to say that there has been Apple and there has been Microsoft. In terms of apps support, I think this is heading for Apple and Google, not Apple, Google and Microsoft at the same time.

I need to point out that there already exists an Android emulator name BlueStacks which allows you to run your Android apps on either Windows OS or Apple iOS. The issue is it won’t run on ARM, which means Windows RT is not available for now. There has been rumor and nothing more. So there is a solution out there for getting Windows to run Android apps already. The question is whether the BlueStacks technology will be more integrated into the Windows experience or will Microsoft continue to fight for fair treatment from app developers.

I would think financial incentive is one way to open the flood gates for Windows apps. In fact Microsoft has been very friendly to the app development community and for good reason. It’s a difficult and frustrating situation to be in for sure. As a consumer,  you are more than likely to own an Android-based smartphone. If that’s the case, it almost instantly takes you away from looking at a Windows tablet. That’s bad for business. I simply don’t think Android is going away and in fact it’s growing to mammoth proportions. As a result, the pressure mounts on Microsoft. You start losing people to the Google ecosystem, it’s going to start affecting your hardware business for sure.


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