In spite of the bad press it’s received, more than a few consumers have been won over by Microsoft’s Windows 8, but there’s just one major sticking point – it remains almost completely and utterly devoid of apps, especially the good ones.
Or at least, that was the situation, until today.
Now, thanks to those wonderful guys at BlueStacks, Windows 8 users have just been gifted an additional 750,000 apps or so, thanks to the release of its Apps Player for Windows 8.
BlueStacks has been around for a while, first coming to our attention almost two years ago when it released its Apps Player for Windows 7, and for devotees of the original software this latest release has been a long time coming.
The latest version of the software has been especially optimized for Microsoft’s Surface Pro tablet, but in actual fact seems to run perfectly well on any Windows 8 device – I tested it out on a Lenovo Twist – with zero compatibility issues encountered so far. Simply head to the download page here, download the software and within five minutes you’ll be happily bashing away at the likes of Angry Birds and Fruit Ninja on your newly converted, Android-esque Windows 8 device.
Rosen Sharma, CEO of BlueStacks, offered these comments on the new App Player:
“We’ve had our users asking for a Win8 version for a long time. Now that it’s finally available on our website we’re looking forward to getting feedback and building on the experience. The number of mobile apps being written overall is expanding exponentially and Microsoft has not added apps to the handful it has. Our goal is to get people more value out of their Surface Pro and Win8 devices.”
No doubt Windows 8 users will warmly embrace BlueStacks new Android emulator, but one can’t help wondering if this is good news for Microsoft in the long run. The problem is that in effect, all BlueStacks is doing is to plaster over the gaps in Microsoft’s miserably depleted apps eco-system, and such a move is hardly going to help it improve. Micorsoft needs to be nurturing relationships with developers and encouraging them to build apps for its own platform – but the fact that BlueStacks app player exists means that there’s less incentive for developers to bother with Windows 8, when they can focus on the more lucrative Android and iOS markets, safe in the knowledge that Windows users will get access to them anyway.
Unfortunately for Microsoft, it looks like BlueStacks is going all out to target Windows 8. The company recently announced a deal with Lenovo which will see its app player bundled with all Ideapad computers. For Microsoft, this is only serves to highlight their failure at creating a decent app eco-system at a time when it really needs to be seen standing on its own two feet.