Sunday, November 29, 2015

Microsoft’s Astoria Proves Too Complex

Steven Max Patterson (via Hacker News):

Microsoft confirmed this weekend that it has delayed, if not killed entirely, Astoria, a tool designed to make it easy for Android apps to run on Windows 10 phones and tablets, according to Re/Code. Microsoft’s stated strategy for the Astoria project was to enrich its app store with some of the 1.5 million Android apps that, after displacing Google’s cloud services within the apps, the company could monetize with its own cloud services.

Microsoft’s ambitions may not be achievable in the time the company allotted itself. Microsoft complicated the project by orders of magnitude when it linked the porting of Android apps to Windows 10 with replacing Google’s cloud services. Microsoft wrote an app interoperability library that traps and converts Google cloud APIs for things like payments and advertising to Microsoft’s APIs.

Previously: Microsoft’s New Middleware: Islandwood and Astoria.

Update (2015-12-08): Jean-Louis Gassée:

Considering Ballmer’s history of miscalculated hot takes (iPhone: No way! iPad: just a PC minus keyboard and mouse; MacBooks: Apple logo slapped on an Intel laptop), I’m chagrined that I agree with him: Universal Apps won’t work; Android is now the way to go (a suggestion I made to Nokia’s management in June 2010, along with the suggestion that they fire their CEO, Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo).

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