It is safe to say that Windows Phone has thus far failed to gain a substantial traction in the market. Microsoft’s mobile operating system is still playing catch up with Android and iOS, the two platforms that boast far more number of users, apps, and dedicated developers. Microsoft realizes that it won’t succeed until it solves its ‘app-gap’ problem, and it may have found a solution.
If sources of ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley are to be believed, the company is considering adding support for Android apps on both Windows Phone and Windows platforms. According to the report, Microsoft’s Developer Experience (DX) team, which has until now focused on broad evangelism and application acquisition, is now contemplating adding support for Android apps to attract more developers and independent software vendors.
The report further reveals company’s two plans that it has in place to get more apps on the platform. Plan A for getting apps on Windows and Windows Phone is to move to the Universal App model. This model, which has already been publicly demonstrated by Microsoft, allows software developers to quickly turn their Windows applications into mobile apps with minimal amount of efforts. While that has resulted in getting more apps on the Windows Phone Store, the company is yet to lure app developers and bring in mainstream and popular apps onto the platform.
Plan B is to enable support for Android apps. While this may seem absurd to many, this is possible with Google’s AOSP project, as we have seen with Amazon on its Kindle devices and on Nokia X platform. But the company is putting more effort on bringing in developers on its own platform, and Microsoft’s Developer Experience team has been trying to improve its status among software vendors.
It will be interesting to see how things pan out eventually. But Microsoft’s Plan B already has its share of detractors. Windows Phone developer Rudy Huyn recently wrote on Reddit, how it is a “foolish” idea, since it would basically kill any developer enthusiasm for the platform all together.