As part of the announcement that Windows 11 will launch on October 5, Microsoft’s Aaron Woodman, GM of Windows marketing, addressed the topic of the redesigned Microsoft Store, and clarified that: “We look forward to continuing our journey to bring Android apps to Windows 11 and the Microsoft Store through our collaboration with Amazon and Intel; this will start with a preview for Windows Insiders (testers) over the coming months.”
The expectation was that this feature which allows Android apps from the Amazon App Store to run under Windows 11 would be here for launch as part of the all-new Microsoft Store, but we can now see that this isn’t the case.
The wording from Microsoft suggests that testing will be started soon – we don’t know how soon – and that it will continue over the ‘coming months’, which sounds like at least a few months of playing with the feature.
Given that there’s only a few months left in 2021, post Windows 11 release, this makes it clear enough that not only will Android support fail to make the cut for launch in October, but that Windows 11 surely won’t be getting this feature until 2022 at some point.
Analysis: No surprise, really – but how long will we have to wait?
The ability to run Android apps on the desktop is one of the most tempting introductions with Windows 11, opening up a load more software for users in the Microsoft Store. (Previously, Windows 10 has allowed Android apps to run on the desktop, but not natively – rather via the Your Phone app hooking up with a Samsung smartphone).
In recent times, we’ve heard plenty of clamor from Windows Insiders about when support for Android would be arriving for testing, and with just tumbleweed as a response, many folks were already starting to draw their own conclusions that the feature wouldn’t be ready for the initial release of Windows 11.
We can now see that’s true, and clearly Microsoft had to say something about Android app support when announcing that Windows 11 is only just over a month away. Obviously it wasn’t going to cram a new feature into the final month of the testing program, which is all about honing what’s already there and squashing bugs.
Hopefully Android support in the Microsoft Store will be due earlier in 2022, rather than later. That should be the case, and it’ll presumably be deployed separately, as a ‘feature experience’, rather than in the main feature update for 2022 (remember, Windows 11 only has one big yearly update, and that comes later in the year – it’ll be 22H2).