Microsoft is once again reportedly bringing Android apps to Windows

When Microsoft first introduced Windows 10, it promised a series of "bridges" to bring apps to the Windows Store, which is now called the Microsoft Store. Project Centennial brought Win32 apps to the Store, Project Westminster was for hosted web apps, Project Islandwood let developers recompile an iOS app with minimal modifications, and Project Astoria would actually allow Android APKs to be installed and run on Windows.

Project Astoria was the only one that never actually shipped (other than in Insider Previews), and it was pronounced dead in February 2016. As it turns out, not all was lost. It evolved into the Windows Subsystem for Linux as we know it today.

According to a new report from Windows Central's Zac Bowden, Microsoft once again has a plan to bring Android apps to Windows 10. This time it's called Project Latte, and it will be based on the Windows Subsystem for Linux. Being that WSL supports GUI apps now and GPU acceleration, there's a stronger basis for getting this to work properly.

The reasons that Project Astoria was killed off are still unclear. According to Microsoft, it was just too confusing for developers to have both an iOS and an Android bridge. Unofficially, some people said it was never good enough for production, while others said it was too good, with Microsoft fearing that Astoria could cannibalize its own UWP app ambitions.

Of course, Microsoft ruined that all on its own, and native Windows apps are no longer where the firm feels it needs to be. With Your Phone, you can basically stream Android apps to your PC, going so far as to add shortcuts for them. The next step is getting them to run natively.

Limitations of Project Latte don't really sound any different than they were for Project Astoria. Developers won't need to make any major modifications, but of course, there won't be any Google Play Services support. There's just no way that Microsoft could get that up and running while companies like Huawei have failed.

As for when this will arrive, Bowden is expecting it to show up in the fall 2021 update, which is expected to be a major one. We'll see x64 emulation on ARM PCs, an overhauled UI, and more.

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