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The 3 words that could spell trouble for Android apps on Windows 11

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Holy hell freezing over, Batman! Worlds are colliding and wild things are happening here in the land o’ Googley tech, but before you get your knickers in a knot with excitement, there’s a quick reality check we need to consider.

Let me back up a second, for anyone who isn’t magically inside my brain and aware of what I’m thinking. Microsoft caught us all by surprise last week when it revealed that the upcoming Windows 11 operating system would support — drumroll, please — Android apps. Yes, Android apps on Windows. Who woulda thunk?

All right, so technically, we’d heard about this possibility before — way back in December of 2020 (which I’m pretty sure was at least 140 years ago). But still, it was a mere hypothetical at that point. And despite all the drippy leaks puddling up around the new Windows announcement, no one seemed to sense that this platform-defying, mind-blowing move might actually happen right now.

But oh, it be happenin’, all right. When Windows 11 ships later this year, its new and improved Microsoft Store will feature a section of Android apps — sittin’ pretty and waiting to be installed, right alongside the regular Word, Excel, and even Minecraft EXE files.

See?

Microsoft

Now, what you might notice in that image leads us to the big honkin’ asterisk with all of this: The Android apps on Windows 11 aren’t coming from Google, exactly — not from the Play Store app market you’re accustomed to interacting with on your actual Android device. Instead, they’ll rely upon Amazon’s Appstore, a.k.a. The Place You Go for Android Apps Only If You Have Absolutely No Other Option Available™ (the unofficial tagline of the Amazon storefront).

Amazon’s Appstore presents plenty of practical problems — chief among them the fact that its virtual shelves are relatively barren compared to the actual Play Store, particularly when it comes to popular productivity tools. You won’t find any Google-made apps there, of course, but beyond that, you also won’t find big-name business appliances like Slack, Trello, or Asana. You won’t find password management services like LastPass, 1Password, and Bitwarden. You certainly won’t find most of the efficiency-boosting power tools we talk about so often in these quarters — not even the relatively basic and mainstream ones like IFTTT and Hue.

Heck, even Microsoft’s own apps are relatively scarce in the Amazon app market. Core titles such as Outlook, OneNote, and the all-in-one Office combo are present, but other offerings — including the standalone Word, Excel, and PowerPoint programs as well as Microsoft Authenticator, Microsoft To-Do, and Microsoft SharePoint — are nowhere to be found.

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