Microsoft’s Project Astoria was supposed to represent a new direction for the company, by allowing developers to port their Android apps directly to Windows.
But even as the Windows Bridge for iOS entered public beta over the summer, giving developers the opportunity to bring apps developed for iPhone and iPad to the Windows ecosystem, its Android cousin remained in technical preview, accessible by invitation only. And now, according to Windows Central, Project Astoria is on hold.
Unnamed sources speaking to the blog said that the project could end up shelved, possibly due to some combination of legal and technical issues. A Microsoft spokesperson said only that the project “is not ready yet.”
One can see why, from Microsoft’s point of view, the idea of an Android emulator appeals so strongly. For years, the company has struggled to increase the number of mobile apps available for its platform; even as thousands of developers flocked to the respective iOS and Android ecosystems, many hesitated to devote the time and resources necessary to craft Windows apps.
Windows 8’s public struggle for adoption, and Windows Phone’s inability to make much of a dent in the mobile duopoly of iOS and Android, elevated the difficulty in this battle for perception. Introducing a (supposedly) frictionless way to port Android apps onto Windows might have helped alter that dynamic. But it may take some time before such a platform ever sees the proverbial light of day.