[Update: It’s back] As Microsoft’s Project Astoria page goes offline it seems Android apps on Windows phones are truly dead

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Update: It seems like the website is back online. According to Tom Warren, Microsoft stated that the page went down due to an outage:

Original article follows below.

Like many of our readers, I saw Project Astoria as the one real hope Microsoft had for keeping committed users on the platform, by allowing them access to that one key app which they needed every day but just could not find on Windows Phone, be it a banking app, or for their university or the local transport authority.

When it became available for testing the technology even worked pretty, especially for a very early version of the software.

The feature did not however make it to the release version of Windows 10 Mobile, and it now appears the project has been completely cancelled, with even its webpage above generating a Page Not Found error.

As a further sign that the project has not just been delayed but completely killed, several members of the Astoria team have been re-assigned to other projects, including Nick Eubanks and Anir Agarwal.

Microsoft’s hopes for expanding the Windows Store for Windows phones now rests on two elements – Universal Windows Apps which address the more than 130 million Windows 10 desktop and tablet users (already much more than Windows Phone) and other porting projects, such as Project Islandwood (iOS apps to Windows), Project Westminster (websites packaged as web apps) and Project Centennial (Win32 apps on Windows 10).

The main issue with those is that they depend on developers wanting to serve the small Windows phone user base which will likely be in the low tens of millions (certainly less than 30 million) over the next year, unlike Astoria, which would have allowed complete Android apps to be side loaded. We have seen some early indication that Universal Windows Apps may in fact be attractive to developers, but it remains to be seen if this gamble by Microsoft will pay off.

Do our readers mourn the departed Project Astoria, or was it never a good fit for Windows 10 Mobile in any case? Let us know below.

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