At this year’s build conference, Microsoft announced several ‘bridges’ that will enable developers from competing platforms port over their popular apps to
Windows without any major changes to their apps. One of those bridges is Project Astoria.
What is “Project Astoria”?
“Project Astoria” (also referred to as “Project A”), is a Universal Windows Platform Bridge toolkit that enables you to build Windows apps for phones by reusing your Android code. With “Project Astoria” you’ll be able to:
- Build Windows apps for phones with few code changes
- Use a Microsoft interoperability library to integrate Microsoft services into your app with very little effort
- Test and debug your app from your preferred IDE
- Publish your app and get paid through the Windows Store
Recent leaks have enabled hackers to test which apps currently run without any modifications to code and the list is indeed short but still impressive for a project that is not even a beta yet. Though the project is proceeding on very well some Android specific features will not be implemented like App widgets, Live wallpapers, lock-screen replacement and many others but most of the core APIs will be catered for.
Why Project Astoria?
Microsoft is the market leader in the desktop computing market although it was an early leader in the smartphone market alongside Blackberry and Symbian it failed to adapt quickly to the disruptive changes the swept the industry which were brought in by Apple’s iPhone. Several attempts to restart windows phone still have at a tiny percentage of the market share and suffering from both real and perceived app-gap. With Project Astoria Microsoft hopes by providing developers with tools to port over their popular apps easily for the platform that it will jumpstart the windows phone store which was lacking in many popular apps.
Here is a list of some working android apps courtesy of wmpowersuser.com
• Bank Of America App
• Candy Crush Soda Saga
• Citi Mobile
Though the list is not exhaustive it gives the general impression of what Microsoft is aiming for but if this was the right move for Nadella to make only time will tell.