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Windows 11 will launch without Android app support on October 5th

Among the major announcements about Windows 11 during Microsoft’s announcement, was its integration of Android app support. Today Microsoft announced the launch date of Windows 11 on October 5th, but with one handed Microsoft giveth, the other it taketh. Microsoft also announced that it looks “forward to continuing their journey” to bring Android apps Windows 11 and will preview the feature over the “coming months” with Windows Insiders.

Say hello to the new Microsoft Store on Windows 11

Android apps on Windows 11 background

Microsoft is planning to preview Windows 11 with its new built-in preview of the Microsoft Store next week with a public rollout this fall. The new Microsoft Store features new policy changes enabling developers to submit unpacked Win32 apps like .exe and .msi apps. Developers can now use their own content delivery networks for app hosting and updates, no not all updates will come through the Microsoft Store. Developers can also use third-party commerce platforms and Microsoft won’t require a cut of the profits. This has resulted in Adobe bringing their entire Creative Cloud suite of apps to the new Microsoft Store. Microsoft is finally bringing their own apps like Teams, Office, Edge and Visual Studio to the new Microsoft Store as a result of these new policy changes.

Android Apps on Windows 11

Something that was rumored for the Store but now is an announced reality is the addition of Android apps to the Microsoft Store from Amazon’s library of apps. These new Android apps will run in a dedicated container and will run seamlessly like native apps. Windows 11 users will need to sign into their Amazon accounts in order to download the Android apps. Once installed, you will be able to pin them to the Start Menu, the Taskbar and snap them side by side with other app windows.

“Today we offer a broad selection of mobile apps in our Amazon Appstore, available across Fire TV, Fire Tablets, and Android devices that our customers use and enjoy every day,” said Palanidaran Chidambaram, Director of the Amazon Appstore and Cross-Screen Technology. “With this announcement, Amazon Appstore developers will now have the opportunity to make their Android apps available to hundreds of millions of Windows customers.”

The availability of the Amazon Appstore within the Microsoft Store on Windows 11 will enable developers to easily expand their app’s reach to billions of Windows devices. Microsoft will ship the new Microsoft Store with Windows 11 this fall but the company says they plan to enable the new Store for Windows 10 as well.

How is Microsoft enabling Android app support on Windows 11? Microsoft and Intel work together an “Intel Bridge” compiler that enables Android apps to runs on x86 CPUs. Fear not, this support includes AMD CPUs and today Microsoft confirmed that Android app support includes ARM silicon as well, but there are not as many details about how it works yet.

Intel describes its Bridge as a run-time post compiler that translates applications on the fly, similar to Apple’s Rosetta translation software for its Apple Silicon powered Macs. Windows on Arm devices won’t need the additional translation layer which could result in better battery life and better performance when running Android apps on ARM PCs like Surface Pro X.

A former industry insider and tech industry enthusiast.

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