Microsoft’s Astoria bridge crumbles

Astoria

project-astoria.png

Remember Microsoft’s plan to bring Android apps to Windows Phone? Microsoft probably doesn’t want you to at this point.

At build this year, alongside Microsoft’s Windows 10 update announcements, the company also announced what they called “bridges” to other ecosystems. These bridges were a set of tools which would allow developers to port iOS, Android, Web and Win32 apps over to a UWP base.

Of the four of these, Android apps were the most controversial. Not only did they allow users to simply sideload Android apps from whereever, but they also required the installation of an Android subsystem into the Windows 10 OS.

Now, many developers were miffed at the Android subsytem because it simply allowed all users to “pirate” whatever apps they wanted. Potentially bypassing the store and stealing money from developers (no matter how you cut it). The plan was also seen as doubly stupid because it had been tried and failed by BlackBerry before hand, so for Microsoft to try it again was something mind-boggling.

The first signs of trouble with Astoria came up with this video we obtained from a source in Redmond, apparently with the right tools, one was able to flash Android to Windows 10 phones. While this bug was in the process of being squashed, there were likely other vulnerabilities being spotted around Astoria. Shortly after that, I received a message from a dev participating in the Astoria project.

He expressed concern that the project had been abandoned, noting that the private beta forums had been abandoned. Shortly after, the Android subsystem was ripped from the code and is  not even present in the latest internal builds of Windows 10 Mobile. I wasn’t able to get any information regarding that till just this afternoon, when our interest was piqued by the Islandwood Facebook app.

We reached out and heard that Astoria was paused for some reason or the other. Possibly a bug, perhaps the security risks, maybe someone was looking at the alienation of developers or other reasons. We don’t know.

Over at Windows Central, the EIC reports that his ow sources tell him that Astoria is not going according to plan, which pretty much gels with the information we’ve gotten so far. We don’t know the exact details of what is going on with Astoria, but it seems to be preettyyy much dead for now.

How do you feel about the possible collapse of one of the “bridges”, let us know in the comments below.

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