Microsoft Is Ending Support For Windows Android Subsystem
Written by Mike James   
Thursday, 07 March 2024

Microsoft has announced that it is ending support for running Android applications under Windows 11. The support will cease next year. This announcement was followed rapidly by Amazon announcing the end of Amazon Appstore on Windows 11.

Windows Subsystem for Android enables Windows 11 devices to run Android applications that are available in the Amazon Appstore. Google Play cannot be used with non-Android devices and so the Amazon Appstore was how Windows users installed apps.

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The news of the removal was made on Microsoft's Windows Subsystem for Android (WSA) documentation site. A notice was added to this saying:

"Microsoft is ending support for the Windows Subsystem for Android (WSA). As a result, the Amazon Appstore on Windows and all applications and games dependent on WSA will no longer be supported beginning March 5, 2025."

There was no further information about what prompted the change, which follows 18 months after WSA was introduced. Amazon then followed suit, but brought forward the date at which things change, saying:

"Developers will no longer be able to submit net new apps targeting Windows 11 after March 5, 2024, but developers with an existing app can continue to submit app updates until Amazon Appstore on Windows 11 is fully discontinued.

Starting on March 6, 2024, Windows 11 customers will not be able to search for Amazon Appstore or associated apps from the Microsoft Store. Customers may continue using Amazon Appstore apps that they previously installed and will still be able to receive app updates."

Amazon said in an email to users of the Appstore that it will continue to be available and supported on Fire TV, Fire Tablet and Android devices.

The decision to end support for Android apps on Windows has probably been driven by the lukewarm reception the service has attracted since its launch, coupled with the low number of apps that are in use. The main losers are the developers who have invested in making their apps work under the subsystem. 

The real question is why?

Clearly being able to run Android apps on Windows is a plus point for its users and Microsoft has put some effort into making it possible. To remove it would seem to save little and make things worse for those who use it. Could it be that there are so few users that even this effort isn't worth it, or is there a deeper Microsoftian conspiracy at work and we just haven't noticed. Whatever the reason, it's another example of the dangers of relying on a feature or API of a system you don't own.

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More Information

Windows Subsystem for Android Documentation

Amazon Appstore Announcement

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Last Updated ( Thursday, 07 March 2024 )