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Android app support on Windows 11 was seemingly doomed from the start

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Earlier this week, Microsoft made a sudden announcement of the end of the Windows Subsystem for Android (WSA). Effective immediately, Windows 11 no longer allows users to install Android apps from the Amazon App Store.

The move surprised many users, but thanks to a few posts on X from a Microsoft veteran, we now have more information on what happened and why the project was doomed from the very start.

Andrew Clinick, who worked as Partner Group Program Manager of the Windows Subsystem for Android, said that WSA "was an amazing project to work on," but it failed because Microsoft and Amazon could not bring enough apps.

Since Android app support cannot generate Microsoft profit without a dedicated store, it is not financially viable for the company to keep it running. That also answers the question of why Microsoft would not continue supporting WSA and allow the installation of APK files outside the Amazon App Store.

Andrew also believes Google sealed the deal for the WSA by walking away from it. The Google Play Store was not supported on the WSA (at least not officially), making it extra hard to bring apps to the Amazon App Store since most modern Android apps rely heavily on Google Play Services.

In 2015, Windows 10 Mobile allowed installing Android apps via Project Astoria as a radical solution to fix the app problem on Windows Phone. However, after a brief period of testing, Microsoft pulled the plug and later confirmed that the project was dead. Now, history repeats itself. Years after the Windows Phone's demise, the ever-familiar app gap problem struck Microsoft again.

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