Microsoft is announcing the next generation of Windows today, complete with an all-new look and feel to its interface. There are a ton of changes arriving with Windows 11, but one new addition was genuinely unexpected. Android apps are coming to Windows 11 in the Microsoft Store, with an unexpected partner bridging the two platforms.
Instead of teaming up with Google, Microsoft is making apps available on Windows through the Amazon Appstore. It's built right into the redesigned Microsoft Store, allowing everything to install natively on your device.
Android apps can be integrated into the Start menu, pinned onto the taskbar, and support Windows 11's upgraded Snap features for some side-by-side action. Microsoft uses Intel's Bridge Technology to get mobile apps up and running on x86 hardware. It wasn't detailed on stage, but Intel confirmed in a statement to Tom's Hardware that all x86 platforms, including AMD, will support this feature. Likewise, The Verge learned from Microsoft that ARM-based devices will also be able to run Android apps — which makes sense, since they shouldn't require Intel's Bridge software — although details are still pretty hazy on how exactly that will function.
Microsoft used TikTok to demo the feature, though apps like Kindle, Ring, and Uber were seen in various screenshots during the presentation. However, not every application on the Amazon Appstore will be made available on Windows 11. According to its blog post, Amazon will share further information with developers in the future on how publishing apps to desktop works, with an "initial selection" of software coming later this year.
Amazon's involvement means you won't find Play Services here, so don't expect any support from Google. There's always the potential that APKs could be sideloaded onto Windows 11, though we won't know if that's possible until the updated operating system is made available to the public.
Amazon also recently joined the ranks of Google and Apple by reducing its revenue cut on the first million for smaller developers to 20%. Unfortunately, that's a program developers have to apply for every year with a lot of gotchas, whereas Google simply reduces its cut for all developers to 15% for their first million in revenue. In short, Amazon may need to do a little more to court more developers to use its store so Windows 11 users can enjoy their apps.
AMD and ARM support