Windows 11 to Drop Official Support for Android Applications

It was only a few years ago — in 2021 — that Windows 11 gained official support for Android apps thanks to a Microsoft-maintained VM called the Windows Subsystem for Android (WSA). With the WSA, Windows 11 users could install and run nearly the full range of apps for Android, optionally through Amazon’s Android marketplace — the Amazon Appstore — thanks to an Amazon-Microsoft deal. Now, Windows 11 is losing official Android app support — and access to the Amazon Appstore along with it. Windows 11 users who’ve installed the Amazon Appstore or Android apps will continue to have access to those apps through March 5, 2025 — but not after. Now, just because Microsoft’s ending support for the WSA doesn’t mean it’ll become impossible to run Android apps on Windows.

In 2021, Windows 11 made a noteworthy breakthrough by officially supporting Android apps through the Windows Subsystem for Android (WSA), a virtual machine developed by Microsoft. This allowed users to easily install and run a wide range of Android apps, including those from the Amazon Appstore, in a seamless manner due to a collaboration between Amazon and Microsoft.

However, news has recently surfaced that Windows 11 is abandoning official support for Android apps, including the Amazon Appstore.

Microsoft announced today that it will cease maintaining the WSA by the end of the year. Users who have already installed the Amazon Appstore or Android apps will still have access until March 5, 2025. But starting tomorrow, new users will no longer be able to download the Amazon Appstore from the Microsoft Store.

The announcement was made in a blog post by Amazon, who stated that while existing Appstore users will still receive app updates after March 6, 2025, developers will no longer be able to submit new apps targeting Windows 11 after March 5, 2024. However, they can continue submitting updates until the Amazon Appstore on Windows 11 is fully discontinued.

As pointed out by Andrew Cunningham from Ars Technica, while the WSA provided a convenient way to run Android apps on Windows, it had its limitations from the start. One major drawback was its inability to access the Google Play Store, the official Android app marketplace, without workarounds. This resulted in a smaller app selection on the Amazon Appstore, leading users to turn to native Windows or web-based versions of the apps instead of using the WSA.

But this doesn’t mean it will become impossible to run Android apps on Windows with the end of WSA support. Third-party alternatives like Waydroid, which offers support through Linux-based system containers, and Bluestacks, an Android emulator for Windows and macOS, already exist and can provide a similar experience.

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Ava Patel

Ava Patel is a cultural critic and commentator with a focus on literature and the arts. She is known for her thought-provoking essays and reviews, and has a talent for bringing new and diverse voices to the forefront of the cultural conversation.

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