Microsoft to allow Android apps on Windows phones -sources
SAN FRANCISCO – Microsoft Corp is set to allow apps from rival Google Inc’s Android system onto its own Windows phones later this year, two sources familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.
The move would mark a radical shift for Microsoft, which has struggled to attract users and has only 3 percent of the global smartphone market.
By contrast, Android phones, led by Samsung, control 81 percent of the market and Apple Inc 15 percent, according to Strategy Analytics.
Microsoft is expected to make the announcement at its developer conference in San Francisco later on Wednesday.
The world’s biggest software company is scheduled to release its new Windows 10 operating system this summer, which for the first time will run across PCs, tablets and phones.
Microsoft still dominates the PC market but has failed to get any real traction on tablets and phones, partly because of a lack of apps.
Allowing Android apps onto its phones and tablets could be a shortcut to achieving that, but runs the risk of making Windows phones less attractive if they are merely seen as emulations of Android devices.
Microsoft, however, may have no choice, according to analysts.
“Their approach recognizes that code for a mobile app can start from any of a number of sources,” said Al Hilwa, an analyst at tech research firm IDC. “The only approach to succeed today is to recognize the multiple developer ecosystems out there.”
Microsoft shares were down 0.5 percent at $48.91 in late morning trading on Nasdaq. – Reuters