Microsoft might let Android apps run on Windows Phone

In today's open source roundup: Windows Phone may run Android apps. Plus: Firefox OS will power smart TVs in 2015, and Linus wants security problems made public

Windows Phone and Android apps

Microsoft's Windows Phone has lagged woefully behind Android and iOS. Now the Redmond software giant might be poised to let Android apps run on Windows Phone.

James Rogerson reports for TechRadar:

...allowing Android apps to run alongside native ones could be the solution and that's exactly what the company is discussing, according to a former Microsoft employee as reported by The Information.

That would give Windows Phone instant access to a far greater number of apps, and could prove particularly tempting to Android users who could make the jump without losing any of their favourites.

...the flip side is that developers would be less likely to make apps specifically for Windows Phone when the Android version is already compatible, which could prove enormously damaging to the Windows Phone Store.

More at TechRadar

Steve Nellis and Amir Efrati at The Information have additional details on what Microsoft may announce tomorrow:

In previewing its Windows 10 operating system, Microsoft will show a single code base inside the software that will allow an app to run well on phones, tablets and PCs, as opposed to being optimized for one screen size, says a person briefed on the upcoming release. Microsoft also plans to introduce new hardware, with some set to appear this week and a phone-laptop hybrid that might appeal to enterprise customers being developed for further in the future.

Microsoft also plans to launch a single app store instead of the two separate stores it now maintains for phones and for PCs and tablets. The new store is where Microsoft might introduce an updated Windows Phone version of Office 365, its cloud-based productivity suite whose success is critical to the company’s fortunes.

More at The Information

Evan Blass at Know Your Mobile examines some of the problems with Windows Phone:

Microsoft has a problem. That problem is no secret: as users become less and less reliant on traditional desktop computing -- an area it has traditionally dominated -- and begin to perform more tasks on mobile devices (phones, tablets) -- where the company has not always, but has lately, struggled -- it's facing a grim future mostly dominated by rivals more popular in the marketplace. If this was only a consumer problem, then Redmond could double down on its enterprise offerings (as it is already doing with cloud-based applications and storage) and call it a day.

From a developer's perspective, it's not hard to see why resources would be poured into the two major platforms, with WinPho only getting love due to capital injections by Microsoft itself or a petitioning of particular developers by fans of the handsets. It doesn't matter if you have 10,000, 100,000, or even a million apps in your catalog: if you don't have the specific ones that users seek out, it is a tough roadblock to get past.

More at Know Your Mobile

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