back to article Android on Windows is disruptive because neither Microsoft nor Google can stop it

Welcome to the DMZ where the world’s two most ubiquitous operating systems meet and eye each other warily. It’s a place where the future platform battles are being shaped. Microsoft may have sidelined its effort to allow Android apps to run unmodified on Windows 10. But Windows users have been able to do this on PCs for over a …

  1. Danny 14 Silver badge

    I did try bluestacks (and Andy) once and it seemed to work quite well. I imagine this is a similar thing. I can see the point on desktops but as for tablets you would need a beefy one to run so probably cheaper to buy a chinapad if you need android on a tablet.

    1. BradleyMikeJ

      How will you copy and paste?

      The objective is to run android apps on Windows, important when you have android only apps on your cell unavailable on your Windows device.

      1. DougS Silver badge

        Re: How will you copy and paste?

        Same way you copy paste out of a VMware VM. You have a virtual driver in the guest OS (i.e. Android) that handles stuff like copy/paste, file sharing and so forth between the guest and host OS.

  2. Pseudonymous Diehard


    Im not entirely savvy when it comes down to Android compatibility...

    But you've been able to run Android in VirtualBox for ages...

    Complete with Play Store etc...

    Am I missing something here?

  3. Dan Wilkie

    Bluestacks is another alternative for running Android apps on Windows that works pretty well.

    1. Gerhard den Hollander

      Re: Right...

      From the page you pointed to:

      [ -- start snip -- ]

      This isn’t the fastest way to run Android apps on your PC — BlueStacks is faster if all you want to do is play Temple Run 2 or another Android game on your Windows PC. However, Android-x86 provides access to a complete Android system in a virtual machine. It’s a great way to get more familiar with a standard Android system or just experiment with it like you would experiment with a virtual machine running any other operating systems.

      [ -- end snip -- ]

      so performance is one reason ....

      1. tony72

        Re: Right...

        And compatibility. Maybe things have improved since I last played with it, but I found many games and most video-based apps would not run correctly, or at all, on Android x86.

  4. J J Carter Silver badge

    But Google *have* stopped Android virtualisation efforts

    IIRC, the Android shim on Blackberry 10 and the now canned binary emulator on Windows 10 Mobile were both shafted by the issue of Goople Play APK. Unless you wanted to attempt sideloading, the number of apps which run on emulators is very limited

    1. asdf Silver badge

      Re: But Google *have* stopped Android virtualisation efforts

      I guess technically F-Droid is sideloading but other than having to check the unknown sources box and apps requiring a click to upgrade its quite similar to Google Play and also viable as your sole app store only (what I do, so nice to have no accounts on the phone) with over 1500 apps now. Best of all its has far less malware and spyware than Google play and allows you with the right rom to run %100 open source on mobile.

  5. phil dude


    What will happen if Oracle wins their case?

    Will M$ lend a hand to save android?

    M$ may not like Android, but anything that gets the PC platform used, is probably seen as a benefit...


    1. LDS Silver badge

      Re: interesting...

      Microsofr already get burned with Java...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: interesting...

        "Microsofr already get burned with Java..."

        You presumably mean that Microsoft burned Java. Thanks partly to their efforts pretty much no one uses it on a desktop these days if they can help it.

        To be fair .Net is a vastly superior and more secure solution though - something for a change Microsoft have done quite well.

  6. dogged

    They'll stop it alright.

    Assume MS do make a Surface Phone with an x86 chip in it. Win10 Desktop doesn't have a telephony stack so it won't run that. It'll run an x86 compiled version of Win10 Mobile which won't have a desktop and will only run stuff you install from the Windows Store.

    Now, you might well get Win32 aspplications packaged and sandboxed as Store Apps (in fact, that's clearly the direction they're going in). DuOS might even be one of them although I doubt they'd get it past Redmond's approval system.

    However, you really think a phone OS aimed at corporates with an emphasis on security is going to allow an application to download and install other applications from the Amazon app store, especially given the lax security of Android apps and tendency to demand access to absolutely everything?

    I don't.

    It won't happen.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Add to this, it would undercut their revenue stream badly not having "native" applications.

      If you can just publish the application for minimal cost to the Amazon app store to reach Windows Phone (the new Windows Mobile), then why bother making a native Windows application?

      It'd be like when Broadcom were pushing ndiswrapper as their official supported method for supporting their devices under Linux. Deeply unpopular with the Linux kernel developer community as it was side-stepping the usual procedures which were put there for a reason.

      1. Hellcat

        They seem to be working on allowing devs to recompile their iOS apps into windows phone apps with minimum changes to code. I think this is good for most people. Devs get more market to sell apps to. Winphone users get more apps to chose from.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "It'll run an x86 compiled version of Win10 Mobile which won't have a desktop and will only run stuff you install from the Windows Store."

      Windows 10 Mobile IS Windows 10. They already have an X86 desktop if needed, and they can just compile the desktop for Arm like they did for the Surface RT - and presumably as they have already done for Continuum. And they already provide ways of loading stuff outside of the Windows Store.

  7. JeffyPoooh Silver badge

    An OS is 'just' SW...

    I got heavily down-voted when I suggested that the future includes OSes running other OSes, perhaps all within another OS.

    The end of eco-systems on phones. Ghetto walls crashing down.

    It's starting.

  8. Dan 55 Silver badge

    A testament to Google's expertise

    This product only exists because Google can't pull their finger out and sort out their Android emulator.

    As for Android itself, it's like the oozlum bird, my phone is slowly disappearing up its own fundament. It's getting more and more slow, crashy, and battery-wasting, now it's decided to miss calls and alarms. It's the Windows of the mobile world. There's got to be a better way than this.

    (There was, it was called Symbian.)

  9. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

    So going to try this out.

    1. DaLo

      Re: An OS is 'just' SW...

      Not exactly a stellar prediction, Vmware has been doing it for quite some time...

      1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

        Re: An OS is 'just' SW...

        Yes, VmWare *have*, and yet articles like this suggest that it is still surprising to some, so the OP has a point. I think the average punter is so used to walled gardens and "the computer says no" that it is refreshing to meet with something like this, even if it is just an obvious consequence of the kinds of software freedom that Stallman et al have been advocating for years.

        Likewise, you are presumably aware that QEMU and such like are able to runs VMs even when the guest was written for a different CPU family, so this approach is potentially even more disruptive and I expect *that* will (eventually) be a surprise to the average Joe as well. (A more interesting question is whether it will also surprise the masters of the universe who hold fruity shares in such high regard.)

      2. JeffyPoooh Silver badge

        Re: An OS is 'just' SW...

        DaLo, "Not exactly a stellar prediction... ...quite some time..."

        So why do so many fail to see the obvious long-term future?

        One can imagine some future OS accepting Apps written for other OSes. Its embedded 'intelligence' would identify the App's native OS and intent, and then execute it within an emulation. Transparently.

        It seem obvious.

        So why they downvotes?

    2. Anonymous Bullard

      Re: A testament to Google's expertise

      It's getting more and more slow, ...

      Why don't you try cyanogenmod?

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: A testament to Google's expertise

        I have, but it was an unstable unofficial build then the author got bored with it. Same story with the three following ROMs. So flashing back to stock with its exploits and all and hopefully it'll at least work...

        Is three years too old for a phone?

    3. Charles Manning

      This started a long time ago...

      Ever since the web browser became a front-end for software, the device OS started becoming irrelevant.

      Client software in offices (for Big Iron backends) is all but dead. Instead it all runs on browsers these days and the client OS is not even visible (exxcept when it crashes).

      To an extent the Big Iron machines are similar. Once they have Oracle or Apache running on them, they're Oracle or Apache machines and the OS underneath is largely irrelevant.

      Microsoft tried to reverse this with things like Silverlight that tied the middleware to the OS to try get them some lock in. That has not worked.

      1. LDS Silver badge

        Re: This started a long time ago...

        Only a subset of professional software runs in a browser. Sure, most database frontends are today web applications. Just, database frontends are not the only applications in use. Moreover, a browser is a far less powerful "execution environment" than an OS - actually, one of the most limiting factors of a web application is they need a "browser" to run within. Maybe one day one OS will start to support "web" applications directly without any need to run it into an application designed for "browsing" - while being able to better exploit local processing power without relying too much on a remote server.

        Even for application server, the underlying OS is far from being irrelevant - because to play well in a complex network environment, the OS still needs to offer a lot of essential services to the applications running on it. Even Apache and Oracle may have to rely on the underlying OS for example for user authentication and hardware devices support. The OS may be irrelevant from the application developer perspective, but it's not from the system administrator one.

    4. naive

      The product does not install when behind a proxy... sigh

    5. Gil

      Re: A testament to Google's expertise

      I have the same problem - brand new Nexus 6P. Lightning quick out of the box, a month later it's started lagging, pausing and generally being slow. My HTC One M8 did the same thing.

      Yeah, I know it's most likely down to some app I'm using and when I have the time, I'll put the work in to figure out which one it is. It kind of defeats the point of having a smartphone if you can't just install apps with impunity though.

  10. Mikel

    No worries

    El Reg seems to have missed that this week Intel has a new top dog for client - PC, mobile, IoT and Systems Architecture. Venkata Renduchintala was poached from Qualcomm, where they definitely have heard of Android. I would not worry about Intel's progress on Android from this point.

    1. JudeKay (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: No worries

      Oh no we didn't.

      1. Def Silver badge

        Re: No worries

        Oh no we didn't.

        And herein lies the problem with the current design of The Register. I suspect I'm not the only person who visits here regularly, but never looks beyond the front page.

        If it's not on the front page, it didn't happen. :)

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Blue" also runs Android apps on Windows 10

    A shareware called "Project Blue" also runs Android apps quite well. Very important when you have Android apps on cell unavailable in Windows version......

  12. websey


    Good old google always breaking compatability


  13. Anonymous Coward

    What about the penguin? ------>

    They said they won't port to ARM but I'd have thought Linux (or BSD) on AMD64 could be a very tempting platform?

    1. Jack of Shadows Silver badge


      Why would they want to emulate Android on x86? Android is a derivative of Linux to begin with a ton of Java thrown in. So, your objective is what? Frankly, I'd rather cold-boot Android 4.4.3 from a stick on one of my lighter performing machines. I do have the installer for that, no nonsense about playing with whose App Store then.

  14. Davie Dee

    Been using DuOS for ages and its very good, exceptional infact, there is no comparison with bluestacks which as far as I'm concerned is just bloated, handicapped with shockingly poor support, unless you pay up. DuOS, just worked right out of the tin with little messing about, you can even get google play working without any bother.

    The problem with DuOS is its support and development, if you have access El-Reg to these guys give them a kick up their arse and get proper network support, I want bridged connections to real networks, no more NAT its a basic function and there is wide spread support for it on your feedback, whats lacking is any form of feedback from you guys or any progress at all.

  15. The Average Joe

    Why... Just buy that nice new Android tablet and turn off PC!

    PC can't do android, so why buy another stodgy old PC? Some android tablets are $50... The days of Windows devices having no competition is over, A surface Pro Mini for $50, maybe but for the Android device at least I have apps...

    The Titanic is sinking...

  16. TReko

    Get it for free rather

    You can get the iso from

    You'll need VirtualBox or VmWare to run it on, though, but have more control, and a better VM host than AMI or Bluestacks provide.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    5 watt Android tablet versus 50 watt titanic

    Yes, the fat power sucking lady is hanging on singing!

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