Lenovo: Have your Windows 8 cake and run your Android apps too

Lenovo is joining forces with Bluestacks to bring Android apps to some of its Windows 8 PCs.
Written by Steven Vaughan-Nichols, Senior Contributing Editor
Want some Android apps. with your Windows 8 PC? Lenovo and Bluestacks can give you that.

Las Vegas -- Lenovo may be Microsoft's Windows 8 go-to partner, but the company is not picking sides. Lenovo is also partnering with Bluestacks to run Android apps on some of its Windows 8 PCs.

Bluestacks announced at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) that Lenovo will preload its Android App Player software and service on Lenovo’s Idea-branded consumer PCs. BlueStacks is also showcasing at the show its latest version of the App Player which is designed and optimized for Windows 8 Ultrabooks, laptops, and tablets.

Bluestacks doesn't use a virtual machine (VM) or Android to run Android apps on Windows or on other operating systems such as Mac OS X. Instead, Bluestacks runs an emulation of the Android Davlik JVM (Java Virtual Machine) on top of Windows.

While BlueStacks plans to patent some of the technology in its Android emulator, LayerCake, this emulation technique dates back for decades. The most well-known of these operating system emulators is Wine. This popular open-source program, along with its commercial brother CodeWeavers CrossOver, enables users of Linux, Mac OS X, and other Unix OSs to run Windows applications. It does this by bridging the gap between the Windows program's application programming interface (API) calls and the underlying operating system.

In a statement, Lenovo’s VP of worldwide marketing said, "Innovation is vital to leading in the PC world, and we're winning by continuing to push the limits in both software and hardware. Our alliance with BlueStacks puts us in a unique position to offer the most popular games and apps on flagship PC products like the Horizon Table PC in order to give our customers engaging user experiences."

Rosen Sharma, President and CEO of BlueStacks, who's seen his company make similar partnerships with other vendors such as AMD and Asus is, as you might imagine, pleased with the deal.

Sharma said, “As the PC market leader and a growing smartphone maker in China, it’s huge that Lenovo is implementing our vision of creating a blended experience across smartphones, tablets, and PCs. Consumers really want access to all their apps across all devices. Artificial barriers and silo-ed ecosystems have long been a source of confusion and frustration. The digital world is a celebration of heterogeneous devices. My PC, tablet, smartphone, and TV may or may not be from the same brand, but that does not mean that my apps should not work across both devices."

It also speaks to the growing popularity of Android that Lenovo, as staunch a Windows 8 supporter as Microsoft has, is incorporating Android app compatibility into its consumer line of Windows devices.

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