Microsoft Windows Subsystem For Android Breaks Cover And There's Xbox Support Too
A key component for getting Android applications to play nice in Windows 11 has made an appearance in the Microsoft Store. It is called Windows Subsystem for Android, though don't get overly excited about its availability—yes, you can mosey on over to the Microsoft Store and download it, but at present, it does not appear to do anything.
We tried it ourselves on a Windows Insider preview build, and all that happens is it loads up a white screen. On the store page, it comes with a description that reads, "Microsoft Confidential - For testing purposes - Please do not take screenshots or communicate about the content." None of which we can do anyway, so no worries Microsoft.
Of course, if that is meant to be more than just placeholder text, then Microsoft shouldn't make these things publicly available. There are some other oddities as well. The app is published by "Microsoft Corp." instead of "Microsoft Corporation," the latter of which is more prominently used by Microsoft. There are only two other apps offered by the former—SizeBench and Bing Webmaster Tools.
It's also interesting that the minimum and recommended system requirements call for Windows 10 version 22000.0 or higher. There is no such build, but is another likely placeholder, this time for Windows 11.
Those quirks aside, Android app support is headed to Windows 11, at least eventually. In a recent blog post, Microsoft announced that Windows 11 would begin rolling out on October 5, and that the "journey to bring Android apps" to the upcoming OS will kick off in the Windows Insider program "over the coming months."
The effort to bring Android into Windows 11 is being made possible from a partnership between Amazon and Intel, the latter with its Intel Bridge Technology, which is a "runtime post-compiler that enables applications to run natively on x86-based devices, including running those applications on Windows." Microsoft also confirmed that users will be able to sideload Android APKs onto Windows 11.
One other interesting tidbit—the requirements list the Xbox One as an alternative to Windows 10 version 22000.0 (Windows 11), suggesting that Xbox support is coming too. In other words, Microsoft may have tipped its hand with this app. We shall see. In the meantime, you can check it out yourself in the Microsoft Store. Or just open up a blank Notepad file for the same effect.