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Windows 11 to lose official support for Android apps

Just a few years ago, in 2021, Windows 11 received official support for Android apps thanks to a Microsoft-managed VM called Windows Subsystem for Android (WSA). With WSA, Windows 11 users can now install and run nearly the entire range of apps for Android, optionally through Amazon’s Android marketplace, Amazon Appstore, thanks to an agreement between Amazon and Microsoft. Masu. Currently, Windows 11 has lost official support for Android apps, and with it, access to the Amazon Appstore.

Microsoft announced today that it plans to end maintenance for WSA by the end of the year. Windows 11 users who have Amazon Appstore or Android apps installed will continue to have access to these apps until March 5, 2025, but not after that. And starting tomorrow, Amazon wants to prevent new users from downloading the Amazon Appstore from Microsoft’s Windows app store, the Microsoft Store.

“Customers can continue to use previously installed Amazon Appstore apps and continue to receive app updates (beyond March 6),” Amazon said in a blog post published today. “Developers will no longer be able to submit new apps for Windows 11 after March 5, 2024, but developers with existing apps will be informed that the Amazon Appstore for Windows 11 will be completely retired. We can continue to send you app updates until “. As Ars Technica’s Andrew Cunningham points out, while WSA has been a convenient way to run Android apps on Windows, it has been limited from the start and lacks access to the official Android app store, the Google Play Store.

Well, at least there wasn’t a workaround. There’s no doubt that the Amazon Appstore has fewer options, and in many cases, users end up opting for web-based apps that can be installed via native Windows or WSA. In other words, WSA usage may have been much lower at a time when Microsoft’s attention was clearly elsewhere, such as generative AI and its various incarnations in Windows.

Just because Microsoft has ended support for WSA doesn’t mean you can no longer run Android apps on Windows. There are a number of third-party alternatives, including Waydroid, which supports Android apps via Linux-based system containers, and BlueStacks, his Android emulator for Windows and macOS. And Microsoft’s efforts to bridge the gap between Android and Windows devices never seem to stop.

Just this week, Microsoft introduced a feature that allows Android users to use their device’s camera as a webcam in Windows 11. Elsewhere, Microsoft maintains apps like Link to Windows, which allows Android users (and iOS users) to make and receive phone calls. Reply to text messages, acknowledge and ignore notifications from your Windows PC.