Microsoft is ending support of Android apps on Windows in a year

In October of 2021 Microsoft unveiled Windows Subsystem for Android (WSA) – a confusingly named feature that allowed Windows 11 to run Android apps. This worked on both x86-64 and ARM processors, even though most of Android runs on ARM these days.

This feature is going away next year – the company updated the Microsoft Learn page about it to note that WSA will lose support from March 5 2025. You can continue installing and running apps (from the Amazon App Store) until then, even get support if you run into issues.

But a year from now, who knows. This is Windows, though, so it’s quite possible that a community effort will resurrect the feature – some devs already figured out how to install and run the Google Play Store, even though it’s not officially supported.

Is that what killed WSA? The Play Store is the biggest moat that Google has around Android – the OS may be open source, but devices without access to the Play Store don’t see much adoption.

Windows Subsystem for Android
Windows Subsystem for Android

Windows Subsystem for Android

Anyway, there’s no word on changes to Phone Link, so you will still be able to use Android apps from your Windows device, it’s just that they will run on your phone and stream the display to the PC. However, only certain phones from certain brands support this feature (you can find the list here).

There’s also Google’s own effort in running Android software on PC – Google Play Games. As the name suggests, this is aimed at gaming, but there is no fundamental difference between apps and games (well, games are much easier to monetize). There are third-party apps that run Android software on Windows and Linux too.

Did you use the Windows Subsystem for Android? What did you do with it? Drop us a line in the comments.

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