Blue Stacks has released an Alpha version of its software which allows Android apps to be run on Windows PCs and tablets.
Using BlueStacks Cloud Connect and its free app, which installs on your Android phone, the Blue Stacks App player lets you play Android apps, full screen or windowed, on a Windows 7 computer.
The promotional video shows what to expect:
The free- to-download alpha version is now available for Windows 7. Runs 10 pre-loaded apps "out of the box" and you can install up to another 26 apps. A premium version, BlueStacks App Player Pro, that plays premium apps and allows an unlimited number of apps to be installed, will soon be available, again in Alpha.
This is just a step on the road to bringing Android apps to a range of platforms. The same technology can be used to bring Android to Windows on ARM, Chrome and even to bring Windows to Android.
If you sit back and consider it all for a moment then it all seems completely mad. Software is slowly dissolving the boundaries between competing systems and the hardware is fast enough for this to happen at acceptable speeds. All you need to do is implement virtualization so that the any operating system can run under any other operating system. It isn't quite so effective when it comes to closed software like Apple's iOS where there isn't even an option to buy the OS separate from the hardware on offer and clearly another solution will have to be found.
We are currently in a period of fragmentation where there are more important competing operating environments than ever before. Products like BlueStacks do something towards reducing that fragmentation. This is a simplification for programmers and users alike. The only real question is will users actually want to run Android applications under Windows? Only time will tell.