Bluestacks Could Help Microsoft Become a Major Player
Microsoft has apparently entered that period of lumbering, slow-motion decline once defined by late 1980s and early 1990s IBM. They’re far too large and have far too wide a footprint in the computer world to actually fail in any real sense, but the last time Microsoft released a product that got people excited was probably the Xbox 360. Could Bluestacks be set to change all this?
Their most recent endeavor, Windows 8 and the Surface Tablet running Windows RT, is a bold, dramatic attempt to set the whole company on a new course, one that assumes the dominance of touch-devices like the iPad and iPhone going forward. In many ways this was a good decision; traditional desktop and laptop computers are widely seen as heading for oblivion as people switch to tablets that are increasingly powerful and flexible – and mobile.
On the other hand, sales of the Surface – and of Windows 8 – have been sluggish. On the desktop, Windows 8 is regarded as such a sudden, frightening change of interface and design people are reluctant to leave the warm environs of Windows 7 for it. The Surface, however, should be doing better – it’s a flexible touchscreen with a snap-on keyboard most people seem to like, running a version of the Windows OS that, while different from previous versions, at least has some familiarity.
Yet the Surface and Windows phones also running Windows RT have sold poorly to date. Many people suspect it’s the lack of Apps holding the devices back, especially the phones. That, or the people trying to use the tablets and their magnetic keyboards as percussive instruments. Whatever the reason, the recent decision to include Bluestacks in Windows RT devices is causing some serious Nerd excitement.
So what Is this Bluestacks we talk about?
In a nutshell, Bluestacks allows users to install and run Android Apps in non-Android operating systems. Adding Bluestacks to Windows RT devices would instantly bring thousands of well-established Apps to the Windows RT world, transforming an anemic mobile experience to the sort of app-rich environment enjoyed by Android users worldwide. It’s a genius move in many ways, as the lack of apps for the new devices is a major complaint about Windows RT.
While no one can predict the future, or even explain sometimes why good devices and software fare poorly in the market, the expectation that the combination of Windows RT’s fresh new interface and reliability and the plethora of robust applications from the Android universe could make Microsoft into the sort of power player in the mobile and tablet market they’ve long sought to be. Android remains the most popular OS in the mobile device world, overall, and with the addition of Bluestacks Microsoft would not have to attract developers to its OS as it would simply benefit from the existing resources.
Whether this means you’ll soon see tribes of people happily dancing and using their Surface tablets and keyboards as rhythmic instruments remains to be seen. Though there’s probably an Android App for that.