Microsoft Resurrects Android App Support for Windows 11, But Enthusiasm Should Be Tempered

Microsoft has announced the return of Android app support to Windows 11, a feature that was initially introduced with the platform's release but subsequently removed. However, users should moderate their expectations as this revival is not as comprehensive as one might hope.

The Resurrection of Windows Subsystem for Android

Windows Subsystem for Android (WSA) is the platform that enables Android apps to run natively on Windows 11. It was first introduced with Windows 11's initial release but was later pulled due to performance issues and compatibility concerns.

Now, Microsoft is bringing back WSA with Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 25290. This version offers significant improvements to performance and stability, paving the way for a more seamless Android app experience.

Amazon Appstore: A Limited Gateway to Android Apps

While the return of WSA is undoubtedly welcome news, it comes with a significant limitation: Android app availability is currently restricted to those offered through the Amazon Appstore. This means that access to the vast Google Play Store catalog is not yet available.

The Amazon Appstore, while offering a respectable selection of popular apps, falls short in comparison to Google Play's comprehensive offerings. Microsoft has indicated that support for additional app stores may be implemented in the future, but no concrete plans have been announced.

Technical Prerequisites and Limitations

To enjoy Android app support on Windows 11, users must meet certain requirements:

  • Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 25290 or later
  • A compatible Intel, AMD, or Qualcomm processor
  • Virtualization support enabled in BIOS
  • At least 8GB of RAM
  • Minimum 128GB of storage

It is important to note that some Android apps may not be fully compatible with Windows 11 and may experience issues with performance, functionality, or user interface.

Steps to Install Android Apps

To install Android apps on Windows 11:

  1. Ensure you are running Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 25290 or later.
  2. Open the Microsoft Store and search for "Windows Subsystem for Android."
  3. Install the WSA app and restart your PC.
  4. Open the Microsoft Store again and search for the Amazon Appstore.
  5. Install the Amazon Appstore and follow the on-screen instructions to create an account.
  6. Browse the Amazon Appstore and install desired Android apps.

Ethical Considerations and Future Developments

The revival of Android app support on Windows 11 raises ethical questions regarding the potential for app duplication and competition between the Microsoft Store and Amazon Appstore. It remains to be seen how Microsoft will navigate this potential conflict and ensure a fair and competitive ecosystem for developers and users alike.

Microsoft has stated that WSA is still in development and that future updates will bring further improvements to performance, stability, and app compatibility. The company has also hinted at the possibility of additional app store support, which would greatly expand the range of available Android apps on Windows 11.


The reintroduction of Android app support on Windows 11 is a welcome development, potentially offering users greater flexibility and access to a wider range of applications. However, the current limitations of the Amazon Appstore and the ongoing technical challenges necessitate a tempered enthusiasm.

Microsoft's commitment to refining WSA and potentially supporting additional app stores is encouraging. As the platform matures, it has the potential to bridge the gap between the Windows and Android ecosystems, providing users with a more seamless and versatile computing experience.

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