Android developers that are thinking of bringing their apps to Windows-based desktops and laptops now have a new tool at their disposal.
BlueStacks, a company run by the former chief technology officer of McAfee, is adding support for Windows 8 to its “app player software.” That will let users download Android applications and run them natively within Windows.
When Windows 8 launches later this year, BlueStacks will integrate fully into the operating system’s new Metro interface — a widely praised graphical start screen that launches programs and apps from small pictures called tiles — meaning any of the 400,000 Android apps compatible with BlueStacks will be able to run alongside programs and applications built specifically for Windows.
The new features also means developers won’t have to port their apps to Windows 8 according to BlueStacks CEO Rosen Sharma, which undercuts Microsoft’s own app market, the forthcoming Windows Store. BlueStacks is currently in public alpha, and users can download the app for free from the developer’s website. Eventually BlueStacks will have free and paid versions, but the company is also working with device makers to have the app player come pre-loaded on new tablets, laptops, ultrabooks and PCs.
Sharma tells AllThingsD the company is currently working on bringing its technology to Mac. The public beta of Windows 8 will be released in February. The company has about $14 million in two rounds of funding from investors including Andreessen Horowitz, Helion Ventures, Ignition Partners, Radar Partners and Redpoint Ventures.