Microsoft has officially unveiled the Windows 11 operating system. The newest version of Windows comes six years after the tech giant had introduced Windows 10 to the world.
Windows 11 focuses on a new user interface, a new Windows Store, and improvements to performance. Actually, we knew all of this as the entire build of Windows 11 was leaked a few days ago. But Microsoft still managed to surprise everyone by announcing that Android apps are officially coming to Windows 11. Few technical details were shared regarding the Android app integration during the event.
Apps seem to run in their own container and can be pinned to the taskbar, resized, snapped, and are generally treated as if they were native Windows apps that are running on your computer.
Microsoft demonstrated apps like TikTok running on Windows 11 today. Apps will be listed in the new Windows Store, and Microsoft is also partnering with Intel to use its Intel Bridge technology to make this a reality. This seems like an obvious answer to Apple’s progress with its M1 chips and running iOS apps on macOS.
It was made possible thanks to the new Macs switching to an ARM-based M1 processor — while Microsoft has done a lot of groundwork to integrate Linux into Windows to make it happen. But there’s a catch here. Microsoft says that the Android apps will be available through the Amazon App store which means you could only download apps that are available in the Amazon App store.
It’s a shame because the number of apps available through Amazon’s App Store pales in comparison to the number available through Google’s Play Store. So disappointed to see a lack of Google Play integration but hey, maybe they tried a partnership but Google did not want to participate?
That sounds like a very plausible scenario given how Google is operating lately. I mean one of the big reasons Windows Phone failed is due to Google reducing to make any apps for Microsoft and got any 3rd party app removed from the Windows Phone Store. But on the other hand, it’s totally understandable why Google wouldn’t let Microsoft use the play store on windows 11.
You see Google also has its own OS aspirations, Google adding Play Store to Chrome OS made a big difference in terms of app and particularly game availability on Chrome OS, so likely they don’t want to help a competitor by adding viability with Play Store access and lose one of the biggest selling points of Chrome OS.
But in any case, having an Amazon app store is still a win for Microsoft and Windows 11 because while there are many web equivalents to mobile apps, they’re often lackluster, and certain apps like Snapchat, Ring, and the majority of home automation apps aren’t available on the web so definitely excited by this announcement and can’t wait to try it out.