Windows Phone 8 is fighting an uphill battle to catch up with its rivals, but Microsoft's mobile operating system could be getting a boost in the form of support for Android apps.
There's plenty of good hardware out there in the Windows Phone market but software has been its downfall for a long time. Developers continue to prioritise iOS and Android and will continue to do so until Microsoft's mobile OS has a bigger market share. See also: Windows Phone 8.1 update will bring notification centre called Action Center.
However, sources familiar with Microsoft's have revealed to The Verge that the company is "seriously considering allowing Android apps to run on both Windows and Windows Phone".
Planning is reportedly in the early stages and there are mixed feeling as to how Microsoft should go about the move. Some at the firm simply believe that enabling Android apps inside the Windows and Windows Phone Stores is the answer while others think that could signal the death of the platform altogether. See also: 11 best Windows Phones.
The company wants to control the store that consumers download the Android apps from, but it's unlikely that it will want to handle the tricky task which comes with supporting an additional platform. Instead, if this move goes ahead, it is likely to involve a third-party 'enabler'.
Software firm BlueStacks is one possibility since it has been enabling Android apps on Windows for a long time. Meanwhile, sources familiar with Intel's plans have indicated that the chipmaker has been pushing Microsoft to provide Android apps in its Windows Store.
The move could well be make or break for Windows Phone depending on how Microsoft goes about the process. Customers would need a very simple way of understanding how to run Android apps on their device and a way of developers porting apps over would need to be created. The potential risk is reducing developers' desire to make native Windows Phone apps if their Android version will be available anyway.
It's something BlackBerry introduced to its mobile operating system and without much success so we're very interested to see what Microsoft decides to do. The firm could make an announcement on the subject at its Build conference in April.
Do you think allows Android apps to run on Windows and Windows Phone would be a good thing or the beginning of the end? Let us know below.