At Microsoft’s Build Developer Conference last year, it was announced that Microsoft was looking at an easier way to port Android apps to the Windows 10 ecosystem. This was called the Windows Bridge for Android, or “Project Astoria”. Just today, Microsoft announced the acquisition of Xamarin, a platform provider for mobile app development. Together with that announcement, they’ve also officially announced that they are giving up on Project Astoria.
Microsoft said that the reason behind this was that the multiplicity of bridge options from Android to Microsoft, with the addition of Xamarin, can create confusion for people. The announcement said that the “have carefully considered this feedback” and that they have decided to “focus their efforts on the Windows Bridge for iOS and make it the single Bridge option for bringing mobile code to all Windows 10 devices, including Xbox and PCs.” For developers who need an Android porting solution, Microsoft recommends looking at the iOS Bridge and Xamarin.
Xamarin in particular provides an app development platform that enables developers to build mobile apps using C# language and deliver fully native mobile app experiences to all major devices – including iOS, Android, and Windows. This would negate the need, in Microsoft’s thinking, of a dedicated Android bridge.
One can’t help but wonder if there’s marketing involved in the decision though. As Xamarin also provides a bridge for iOS apps to be ported to Windows, why the need for a dedicated iOS bridge even? But it looks like the decision has been made.