Microsoft may have killed the tool that makes it easy to port Android apps onto Windows phones

Microsoft has indefinitely delayed Project Astoria, a set of tools that would make it easy for Android developers to port their apps onto Windows 10 Mobile, Re/code reports.

Windows Mobile currently has a big app problem as it lacks many popular apps, such as Snapchat. Porting Android apps could have been a way to fix this problem.

Astoria is part of a “four bridges” plan that includes tools to port Web apps (Project Westminster), classic Win32 apps (Project Centennial), and iOS apps (Project Islandwood) onto Windows phones. The tools for iOS and Web developers are now ready, making the absence of the Android Bridge conspicuous.

Re/Code quotes a Microsoft spokesperson as saying “the Astoria bridge is not ready yet, but other tools offer great options for developers.” Windows Central reports that the project has been put on-hold indefinitely.

Shelving the plans for Project Astoria is a blow to Windows 10 Mobile. Microsoft told Business Insider that the Windows Store has 500,000 apps, of which around 390,000 are available on mobile. This is far behind the total app counts for iOS (1.5 million) and Android (1.6 million). By missing out on all of these apps, Microsoft is hindering the chances of Windows phones ever becoming a success.

Microsoft’s stated goal for Windows 10 is one billion users and so the company is relying on sheer usage numbers to attract developers. The company has previously tried to incentivise developers with financial rewards.

Business Insider has reached out to Microsoft to ask about the status of Project Astoria. We will update the post when we hear back.

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