PC-maker ASUS has signed a deal with Bluestacks to include its Android app player on ASUS PCs as reported by AllThingsD. Bluestacks makes it possible to run top Android apps on the Windows desktop. This deal has major implications for ASUS, Bluestacks, and even Microsoft with Windows 8 on the horizon.
The deal gives ASUS customers six months of free access to Android apps on their new Windows PCs.
The key to the success of any mobile platform and device is the availability of a wide assortment of popular apps. This is a hurdle that Windows 8 will face when it launches later this year, and ASUS may have the right formula with Bluestacks.
See related: Bluestacks Android app player for Windows (review) | Windows 8 Release Preview: Microsoft gets its apps together | Windows 8 from every angle: A closer look at the Release Preview | Windows 8 Release Preview: What's in and what's out | Windows 8 Release Preview vs. Windows 7: Benchmarked
The inclusion of Bluestacks on ASUS PCs running Windows 8 will give it the ability to run major Android apps right in Windows. This will be an advantage over other OEMs releasing Windows 8 systems, both laptops and tablets, that will rely solely on new Windows Metro apps to appear. This is a good deal for ASUS and Bluestacks, and Microsoft must be happy with it too.
When I gave Bluestacks a test spin when the alpha version first came out I was impressed with how well it ran Android apps under Windows. The entire process, from app download to installation, was smooth and largely pain-free. The apps I tested worked well on a Windows 7 laptop, and I can imagine how well they will run on a tablet running Windows 8.
The ASUS/ Bluestacks deal is not the first attempt to bring Android apps to another platform. RIM released the capability to run Android apps on its Playbook tablet, and it greatly enhanced the usefulness of that beleaguered tablet. Had it produced the Android player at the Playbook launch as originally promised, the tablet might have been much better received.
The ability to run Android apps on Windows 8 PCs may be a boon to the BYOD crowd looking to grab a tablet for the workplace. Being able to fill any Metro app gaps with existing Android apps will make that scenario much more palatable.
The cross-platform approach to getting apps in the box for Windows 8 is a smart move. The ASUS/ Bluestacks deal doesn't appear to be exclusive so don't be surprised to see other Windows 8 OEMs follow ASUS' move.