Microsoft Plans To Remove Phone Companion App For Windows 10

As we all know by now, it’s all just a matter of time until Windows Phone/Windows 10 Mobile is being retired completely, as according to Microsoft’s own support schedule, security updates would only continue to be provided until mid-2019.

In fact, one Microsoft employee says the company has already >started ending support for Windows phones

, whatever that means, since January, so the software giant itself seems to be in a rush to live in a world without Windows 10 Mobile.

But as a Windows Phone diehard, I still can’t help but think at the one project that everyone believed it would save the platform and which was eventually pulled by Microsoft without providing us with too many specifics about its decision.

Project Astoria was, without a doubt, the idea that could really fix one of Windows Phone’s biggest annoyances: the lack of apps. It’s not a secret that the lack of apps was more or less the cause of all evil on Windows phones, as it pushed both users and OEMs to other platforms.

Developers never seemed to be very keen on building apps for Windows phones, so Project Astoria, by bringing Android apps on Windows phones, was supposed to once and for all deal with this huge problem.

So why did Microsoft remove Android app support from Windows Phone? I’m actually asking you, because finding a logical answer for doing this seems pretty much impossible from the point of view of someone who really wanted this platform to succeed.

Project Astoria, together with Project Islandwood (which was supposed to help port iOS apps to Windows phones), was announced with much fanfare at the Build 2015 developer conference when Microsoft was still very committed to its mobile platform.

During the development stage of Windows 10 Mobile, the project evolved so much that at some point it was actually possible to >sideload Android apps on Windows phones

, and I can remember that it all took only a few seconds after figuring out how to do it.

Shortly after that, however, Microsoft quietly discontinued Project Astoria and removed the possibility of installing Android apps on Windows phones. Several months later, in early February 2016, >Microsoft finally confirmed the retirement of Project Astoria

and blamed it on user feedback.

“   "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,” Microsoft said.  

Internal development struggles and the project not necessarily advancing as planned were believed to be the main reasons for Microsoft giving up on an idea that was supposed to save Windows phones.

Despite pulling plans for Android apps on Windows phones, however, Microsoft continued to express its commitment for keeping Windows 10 Mobile alive, pushing devs to Project Islandwood instead and encouraging them to create UWP apps from scratch.

As it’s clear right now, all these plans have failed, and eventually Microsoft decided to abandon Windows 10 Mobile completely, with the lack of apps apparently remaining one of the issues that the company never managed to address.

Kind of weird given that it’s the world’s largest software company we’re talking about here, and one of the reasons for killing an entire platform was the lack of software support.

Of course, there’s no guarantee that bringing Android app support to Windows phones would have saved the platform. BlackBerry did the same thing and its mobile OS still failed eventually, so the company had to switch entirely to Android to remain an active player in the mobile hardware market.

And this is actually a pretty good question: should Microsoft launch an Android phone? I mean, it does have the apps, given its commitment to providing users with all the apps and services they need regardless of the platform.

But more importantly, however, is why Project Astoria was abandoned so easily. Because judging from the voice of the community, feedback was definitely not the reason.

Source : http://news.softpedia.com/news/why-did-microsoft-remove-android-app-support-from-windows-phone-519780.shtml

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