Of all the challenges facing a mobile platform, especially a latecomer such as Windows Phone, it is the “app gap” that will most likely determine if the platform will succeed. Microsoft’s much-maligned mobile platform has endured its fair share of getting developers to make apps for Windows Phone, and up until late last year it didn’t even have Instagram. Little by little, it has managed to convince developers to expand the app portfolio in Windows Phone, and many now consider the “app gap” to be a thing of the past for Windows Phone.
However, the fact remains that new apps are always developed for the two mature platforms first (iOS and Android) before it appears on Windows Phone…if at all. As a result, Microsoft is said to be “seriously considering” to allow Android apps to run on both Windows and Windows Phone. The Verge reports that it is still very much at an early stage, but already it has elicited strong sentiments both for and against the move.
Naturally, there are plenty of obvious benefits to allow Android apps to run on Windows and Windows Phone, with many challenges to overcome if Microsoft does indeed decide to allow it, such as the method of implementation and even how would they differentiate Android apps from native apps. Nevertheless, that some parties within Microsoft are for allowing this interesting marriage of sorts is a telling indication of how serious this plan could be.
We can almost say for certain that Nokia’s next budget smartphone will be running on a forked version of Android. Now, it’s Microsoft’s turn into flirting with the idea of Android integration into Windows and Windows Phone. The company may be a long way from actually doing it, but this may be an even more extreme move from Microsoft than removing the Start button on Windows.