Windows Subsystem for Android (WSA) might see continued life, at least in China

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Key notes

  • Microsoft ending WSA support globally might be reversed for China.
  • Tencent partnership suggests WSA’s tech will be used for Tencent App Store on Windows in China.
  • China’s high demand for mobile games on PC justifies keeping WSA alive there.

Earlier in March, Microsoft announced the end of support for Windows Subsystem for Android (WSA), a feature that lets users run Android apps and games on their Windows PCs. However, a recent partnership with Chinese tech giant Tencent has sparked hope for WSA’s survival, at least for users in China, who also received PC Manager recently

The collaboration between Microsoft and Tencent can bring mobile apps from the Tencent App Store to the Microsoft Store. While there’s no explicit mention of WSA in a tweet, some details hint at its continued existence behind the scenes for the Chinese market.

Firstly, the blog post mentions that the “computer version of Tencent App Store” will rely on a tech stack very similar to WSA. This includes Intel Bridge Technology (IBT) and Celadon, both important for running ARM apps on x86-based Windows PCs, which is exactly what WSA does.

Secondly, the underlying Android OS version used by the Tencent App Store computer version aligns with the last version supported by WSA – Android 13. 

There’s a strong argument for WSA’s continued presence in China. Unlike other regions, China has a much larger population interested in running mobile games on their PCs. This high demand likely justifies keeping WSA operational.

With this new development, the global future of WSA remains to be seen. But for gamers and Android app users in China, the partnership between Microsoft and Tencent suggests they might be able to continue enjoying WSA functionality for running Android apps on their Windows machines.

More here.