Microsoft Lumia 950 XL
Back at its Build developer conference, Microsoft wowed us with a new demo of the HoloLens headset and talked up big features of the still-to-come Windows 10, but one of the biggest announcements had to do with Android and iOS apps.
And not even the company's own mobile apps, which have spread out to other platforms like wildfire in recent months. Instead, Microsoft planned to release tools that would easily convert existing iOS apps to Windows 10, as well as emulate Android apps, letting developers flood the comparatively barren Windows Store with loads more top-tier apps and games.
Only that might not happen now - not with Android, at least. Project Astoria, which was Microsoft's part of the plan that allowed emulation of Android apps in Windows 10, has been delayed or possibly even canceled. Windows Central has a report out in which sources claim that the project has run into challenges and had a huge team of developers trying to make it work.
The developer forums for the project have gone dead, and the code needed for the Android emulation is missing from the final version of Windows 10 Mobile. The Verge adds that its sources claim security concerns and the looming promise of added app piracy are also contributing factors for Microsoft pulling away from its promise.
Microsoft hasn't confirmed whether Astoria is delayed or properly cancelled, but it issued a statement saying, "We're committed to offering developers many options to bring their apps to the Windows Platform, including bridges available now for Web and iOS, and soon Win32. The Astoria bridge is not ready yet, but other tools offer great options for developers."
In other words, if you made an Android-only app, you may not get Microsoft's help in bringing it over to Windows 10. It's a shame to see such a big, exciting promise seemingly brushed aside.