Microsoft continues to have issues filling the Windows Phone marketplace, after three years of wishy-washy performance against the two titans of the industry: Android and iOS.
In order to leap over this barren landscape, Microsoft is debating internally whether porting Android apps onto the platform will bring success. BlackBerry and Sailfish OS both utilise Android ports to beef the marketplace—allowing users more choice—but this has not brought more success to the aforementioned platforms.
Android apps tend to work well on other mobile operating systems, but it is not a perfect alternative to native applications. Microsoft is surely aware of the repercussions of working with Android, however it may be in dire need of apps with Windows 10 approaching.
Currently, Windows Phone has 300,000 apps, compared to Android’s 1.3 million and iOS’ 1.1 million.
Developers are not readily supporting Windows Phone, with big names like Facebook, Snapchat, and Twitter all focusing on the primary mobile platforms, and in some cases only iOS.
Microsoft will bring three platforms together on Windows 10, its mobile (Windows Phone), its tablet (Windows RT) and the main desktop OS. Using one platform will mean one store/one app, potentially bringing more developers into the fold.
More information should be revealed at Microsoft’s conference on January 21, where it will reveal the consumer features for Windows 10.
Alongside porting Android apps onto the platform, Microsoft is working on bringing Xbox One exclusives to Windows 10, through a revamped Xbox App, according to the Build 9901 leak.
The future success of the Windows platform will depend on Windows 10 and how well different form factors sell on the market. If Windows Phone fails to take off in 2015, it might spell the end for Microsoft’s mobile business.