Marrying Android and Windows

Tim Bajarin / November 9th, 2011

Earlier this year I discovered an interesting company by the name of Bluestacks who said they had a virtual engine that would allow a person to run Android apps on a Windows PC. When I say I discovered them, this is an understatement. They moved into the office next to mine so it was pretty easy to find them.

But I had actually heard about them from some of my OEM clients who were quite excited about what they had been shown by Bluestacks. So I met with them and became quite interested in their technology.

It turns out that Bluestacks is one of those gems that early stage investors love and so far they have been backed by Andreeson Horowitz, Redpoint, Ignition Partners, Radar and Helion (Jeff Bezo’s VC fund) with strategic investments coming from AMD, Citrix and two others who are not public yet.

The CEO and founder, Rosen Sharma, who is a veteran of many tech startups, realized that many people who have an Android phone or tablet, would really like to have those same apps on their PC. So he set about creating a technology that would virtualize Android on Windows so that people could take their apps from their Android device and send it via a piece of software downloaded on to their device called Cloud Connect directly to the Bluestacks player on a Windows PC.

So, when a user goes through this simple procedure, your Android Apps just show up in the Bluestacks Player on Windows and like magic, they just run on Windows as is and in full screen with no performance degradation. That means software written for Android such as Pulse, Flipboard, or any apps written just for Android will now run on your Windows PC and be tied to the data layer of your Android version as well.

Although Bluestacks has a “Get More Apps” section built into the player itself, most of the ones there now are just to show you what can be done. In the real world, people will just download their Android apps from the Android Marketplace or Amazon’s Android store and then use Cloud Connect to transfer them to their Windows PC.

The program is in Alpha now, but it is pretty solid even in this state. They have a lot of new features and enhancements planned that would give their program even more functionality, but to be honest, just having my Android apps on my PC is already a good reason to try it out. And all this is free. I do believe that they will offer some premium services and apps eventually that would have a cost tied to it, but from what I can tell, most of what they offer will be free to the user when it comes to running almost all of a person’s Android apps on their Windows PC.

Check it out at www.bluestacks.com

Tim Bajarin

Tim Bajarin is the President of Creative Strategies, Inc. He is recognized as one of the leading industry consultants, analysts and futurists covering the field of personal computers and consumer technology. Mr. Bajarin has been with Creative Strategies since 1981 and has served as a consultant to most of the leading hardware and software vendors in the industry including IBM, Apple, Xerox, Compaq, Dell, AT&T, Microsoft, Polaroid, Lotus, Epson, Toshiba and numerous others.
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