Windows 8 Beta is coming in February, and now I’m finally starting to get excited. So what has changed to really have me ‘feeling it’?
Certainly not Microsoft’s CES event or even Intels, although many of the upcoming ultrabooks do look rather interesting. So what’s with the excitement?
Time and time again I’ve talked about how I really won’t be able to judge how I feel about Metro until I have several apps to play with that actually makes me want to use the new interface.
As you might already know, the Beta is on schedule for February and the Marketplace is expected to go live around the same timeframe. Still, you have to wonder, how many apps will actually exist this early on? Certainly less than a hundred, I would wager.
Of course, if Microsoft is really ambitious they might have decided to mass-convert many popular Windows Phone apps in order to create at least 100-250 app library so that testers can really get a true look at what Metro is all about.
Even so, odds are that many of my favorite apps that I use regularly on my Android phone probably won’t get a Metro version until Windows 8 goes commercial, at the earliest.
Thankfully, this isn’t going to be a problem.
I wanted to have thousands of useful apps in Metro that really will let me get a true impression of Metro when the Beta surfaces (as of right now my Pre-Beta impressions have been mixed), and the folks at BlueStacks have responded with a solution to my problem.
This announcement is why I’m excited.
For those who don’t know, BlueStacks already created an “Android App Player” for the desktop environment that works in Windows 7, and presumably will also work in Windows 8 desktop mode.
Still, what good is a touch-app in desktop UI? Not much, and BlueStacks apparently didn’t think so either.
A new version is coming sometime in February (to coincide with Windows 8 Beta) that fully supports Metro and installs these Android apps as live tiles. This is pretty impressive, and a really great way to get everything we want on Windows 8, now.
So what does this mean? It means that shortly after the launch of the Beta we will have access to many thousands of apps, thanks to this compatibility layer.
Will all apps work flawlessly? I can’t expect perfection, no, but if this newest version is anything like the current desktop-centric version, it will be highly functional.
This is excellent news and at the very least means that we will get to use our favorite apps until Metro-native versions arrive later in 2012 and beyond.
I don’t know about all of you, but if the Android App Player really works as well as claimed, we just got a heck of a lot more to look forward to when the Beta comes around.
You can pretty much guarantee that in the next month or so I will be sure to follow up with a new post talking about how well Bluestacks works (or how badly it doesn’t, whichever the case).
I have big expectations, and hope that I am not let down. Either way, even if it doesn’t work that well, just being able to play around and see Android apps attempting to work is pretty cool.
What do you think about the announcement of the Android App Player? Do you think it will work flawlessly or will it be too buggy to make it worthwhile? Should we be excited about this announcement or not? Share your thoughts below.
[ source ]