Microsoft today revealed that all Windows Phones will have an Android sub-system which will allow Android apps, submitted to the Windows Phone Store, to run on the Microsoft handsets.
The technology is called Astoria, and will allow Android apps to run mostly unmodified, usually without having to recompile for Windows Mobile—as long as the APK sticks to the APIs that Astoria will provide.
The Android layer will offer support for many Android APIs, including some Google ones like Location services, but will not offer 100% compatibility. On the other hand, it will also provide some unique APIs like Cortana to Android developers.
In short, the technology will not change Windows Phones into Android handsets, but there is a significant risk that Windows Phone developers will develop Android apps as their universal language and platform, and thereby serve both the Windows Phone and massive Android ecosystem. In many ways, this technology is a lot closer to Paul than Tom’s predictions.
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