Microsoft Temporarily Halting Project Astoria Or Ending It?
With Project Astoria, Microsoft was planning to launch a new tool that would bring mobile apps originally developed for the Android environment into the company’s own Windows 10 operating system. The tool was specifically designed to urge mobile app developers to essentially make their Android apps into Windows friendly apps.
Despite the fact that the foundation software for most PCs is still Windows, Microsoft has had a challenging time gettings it to most of today’s smartphones and tablets. Instead, Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS seem to be dominating mobile devices nowadays. Project Astoria was supposed to boost Windows’ presence in mobile devices but it appears that progress on the new tool has not progressed as initially hoped. Still, Microsoft has not made it clear if they are indeed cancelling the project or just temporarily halting it.
Windows 10 is sort of a make or break for Microsoft, especially when one considers how dismal the sales of Windows 8 were. And in an age of increasing mobile use, it is imperative that the company compile lots and lots of Windows 10 mobile apps for people to actually use. One of the reasons Windows struggled so much on mobile was the rather shallow pool of available mobile apps in its platform, unlike Android and iOS which frequently attract armies of developers eager to sell their creations on either or both software environments.
Project Astoria’s prospects may have dimmed a little now, but Microsoft has launched a couple of related tools -- Islandwood, which allows developers to bring mobile apps for Apple’s iOS to Windows 10, and Westminster, which does the same for mobile apps for the Web. Moreover, the tech company is also planning to launch a similar tool to bring older style Windows mobile apps to Windows 10.
There may have been signs that Project Astoria was already losing steam, per the Windows Central blog. The project’s forums were noticeably inactive back in September earlier this year, with inquiries from developers sometimes going unanswered by Microsoft. Also telling is the fact that the company has removed the tool from newer test versions of Windows 10 for mobile.
It should be noted that even though the idea of Project Astoria was nice, it still is essentially an emulator tool which basically lets apps from other platforms transform into Windows friendly apps. Developers might point out that the better solution might be to have the creators of apps develop Windows apps themselves, not rely on a tool to do so. The only problem is that Microsoft has trouble attracting developers because not many consumers use the platform in the first place, becoming a chicken and egg dilemma.