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Microsoft's Project Astoria is dead, so stop hoping for Android apps on Windows

By Ng Chong Seng - on 26 Feb 2016, 10:17am

Microsoft's Project Astoria is dead, so stop hoping for Android apps on Windows

At Build last year, Microsoft elaborated on its Universal Windows Platform strategy, and how it intends to help developers bring apps into the Windows Store with four ‘bridge toolkits’, namely ‘Westminster’ for porting web apps, ‘Centennial’ for classic .NET and Win32 apps, ‘Astoria’ for Android apps, and ‘Islandwood’ for iOS apps.

At this point, three of the four bridges seem to have been progressing well. The Web bridge shipped as part of the standard Windows 10 SDK in July, and companies like Shazam and Yahoo have adopted it. Centennial is now undergoing testing with a set of developers and expansion of the program is expected in the near future. Islandwood was released to GitHub as an open source project last August and has seen regular updates since.

What about Astoria, the Android bridge? After confirming that the bridge is delayed last November, Microsoft has now come out to say this:

We also announced the Windows Bridge for Android (project “Astoria”) at Build last year, and some of you have asked about its status. We received a lot of feedback that having two Bridge technologies to bring code from mobile operating systems to Windows was unnecessary, and the choice between them could be confusing. We have carefully considered this feedback and decided that we would focus our efforts on the Windows Bridge for iOS and make it the single Bridge option for bringing mobile code to all Windows 10 devices, including Xbox and PCs. For those developers who spent time investigating the Android Bridge, we strongly encourage you to take a look at the iOS Bridge and Xamarin as great solutions.

In a nutshell, while Microsoft didn’t use the word ‘dead’, the fact is, the Astoria bridge is dead. And looking at Microsoft’s explanation, is it trying to say that developers’ interest in Astoria is way lower than Islandwood? Or are there other reasons (e.g., resource and legal reasons) that eventually led to Microsoft to conclude that Astoria isn’t worth the effort?

Whichever the case, I doubt the buying of Xamarin has anything to do with this decision. Remember, Astoria is about making it easy for Android devs to bring apps their to Windows; Xamarin’s tools are to make it easy for .NET/C# devs to write native apps for other platforms besides Windows.

Source: Microsoft.

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