Initially mentioned already during its presentation event last June, where Microsoft confirmed that Android apps coming to Windows 11, more and more news is reaching us about this compatibility of mobile applications for the new desktop operating system.
Within the redesigned app store, users will have access to an extensive catalog of Android apps, which will be powered by the Amazon Appstore. Amazon has already confirmed that its platform will support Android App Bundles (AAB), the next-generation Android application standard format that will eventually replace the current APK format.
As a result, Windows 11 users can access almost all popular Android apps. directly from the native Microsoft Store, advancing a compatibility in Intel, AMD and Qualcomm (ARM) devices.
This does not mean, however, that the application store is going to put aside other formats to stay with MSIX, quite the contrary, and in order not to close the doors to developers, they will continue to support many other formats, from the most classic 32 bits (yes, no surprise, Windows 11 will maintain compatibility with 32-bit software) until the increasingly present PWAs. It is clear that Microsoft wants to open its store to everyone.
To help users run their favorite Android apps on Windows 11, Microsoft says it will use the Windows Subsystem for Android (WSA), which is similar to the Linux Subsystem for Linux (WSL). Windows 11 will also ship with new virtual machine technology for address compatibility issues with the Android Open Source Project (AOSP), which is an open source software stack. Thanks to the Android Open Source Project, Windows 11 does not require Google Play Services support and most applications will work fine on desktop operating system.
Unfortunately, at the moment the Amazon Appstore is not as big as its competition, so not all applications will be available. However, a Microsoft engineer recently confirmed on Twitter that users will be able to easily download APK files of applications in Windows 11.
So, while Microsoft has already confirmed that it plans to launch the first preview of the Android applications later this year, at the moment no more details have been shared about how the download and access process will work.