Yesterday news broke about Microsoft considering the idea of putting Android apps on Windows Phone and Windows. This news was met with almost universal opposition from both the Android and Windows Phone camps. It was a bad idea when Blackberry tried to do it, and it’s still a bad idea now. Android is Google’s Trojan horse, and Microsoft would be inviting it in.
Check out my short little debate on this issue with the guys from Phandroid.
Microsoft and Google have a tumultuous relationship. All of their big issues can be boiled down to one thing: ecosystem. Microsoft wants you to use Bing, Office, IE, SkyDrive, and Windows Phone. Google wants you to use Google Search, Docs, Chrome, Drive, and Android. They are trying to pull you deeper and deeper into their world until you can’t leave.
Android has helped Google get their services in the hands of millions of people, and as a result their ecosystem is thriving. Microsoft is trying to do the same thing with Windows Phone and Windows 8. There really aren’t many decent options available for accessing Google services, but that would change if Android apps were suddenly available on both platforms.
You might say “what is wrong with giving users more options?” Microsoft has a huge hill to climb when it comes to convincing people to use their services. Google’s brand is much more well-like by consumers. A lot of people will just plain never give Microsoft services a chance. So while it might convince more people to use Windows Phone, they would not be using Microsoft’s services.
Developers, Developers, Developers
The main goal Microsoft would have with this is to fill the “app gap” between Windows Phone and Android. This would indeed bring many more apps to Windows Phone users, but it would also kill Windows Phone apps as we know it. The reason why many developers don’t create Windows Phone apps is because they already develop for iOS and Android. A third OS is just too much.
If a developer can make an Android app and have it be available for Windows Phone too there is zero incentive for him to make a native app. Windows Phone apps are some of the most beautiful apps available on phones today. It just wouldn’t be worth the time for many developers to make two apps when one can do the job. We would just get tons of Android apps until Windows Phone apps are a distant memory.
This is what would eventually kill Windows Phone. Eventually our beautiful devices would be full of Android apps. There would be nothing unique about a Windows Phone. Users would just start buying full-fledged Android phones. Dedicated Windows Phone users would stick to the native apps, but eventually they would be outnumbered.
Do you agree?
Would Windows Phone be destroyed by Android apps? Are they any Android apps you would use on your Windows Phone? Is this a bad idea?