Like it or not, Microsoft Windows still has the majority of the computing market but not having all of that market probably still worries Redmond. Winning over Mac users is probably a lost cause but users of other platforms are fair game. Microsoft has already started wooing Linux users, especially developers, and soon it might give Android users even fewer reasons to pick up their phones if this rumored Project Latte ever finishes brewing.
Rumors of Android apps running natively on Windows 10 suddenly popped up just a few days ago and Windows Central now has a bit more information about it. Its sources claim it’s an official effort inside Microsoft codenamed Project Latte. As the site previously reported it could even debut next year, presuming Microsoft doesn’t ax it like it did Project Astoria.
Project Astoria was the company’s aborted attempt to do exactly that, bringing Android apps to Windows via a porting tool. This time, the implementation might be based on its current work on WSL2, which would be gaining the ability to run Linux GUI apps soon. Android, after all, uses a Linux kernel even if most of its software architecture shares very little with traditional Linux distributions.
The technical work needed to run Android apps on Windows and distribute them via the Microsoft Store might, however, be the easy part. These apps won’t have access to Google Play Store and services and may have to be modified to work without those. Alternatively, Microsoft could also provide some compatibility layer based on one of the open source “gapps” replacements.
Running Android apps on Windows isn’t exactly new for Microsoft but it has so far given Samsung’s Galaxy phones preferential treatment. That ability, however, requires collaboration with phone manufacturers and Project Latte could let it cast a wider net to catch Android users and app developers.