Back in May, the start up company BlueStacks announced plans to launch a way to run applications made for Google's Android OS on PCs running Microsoft's Windows operating system. Today, BlueStacks has finally released the first alpha version of its Android App Player. It's available as a free download at its web site. It looks like this first version is for Windows 7 and Vista-based PCs only at this point.
If you own an Android-based smartphone or tablet you can use the BlueStacks Android App Player to transfer those apps to a Windows PC and play them on the Android App Player. This requires that the user download BlueStacks' Cloud Connect app from the Android Market. If you don't own an Android device you can still download new apps on your PC via the BlueStacks App Channels, however, you will need a Facebook account to sign up. The Android App Player will only allow apps and games to be played full screen on a PC; there's no support for windowed-based features yet. Android app makers don't need to make any modifications to their programs in order for them to run on the Android App Player.
BlueStacks has stated in a press release that it has already received interest from PC makers in pre-loading the Android App Player in their PC rigs. While this first version is free it's also limited to adding 26 Android apps in addition to the 10 apps that are pre-loaded with the player. A future "Pro" version of the Android App Player will allow users to run an unlimited number of apps via the player.