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Image: Microsoft

The addition of support for Android apps in Windows 11 represented not only the biggest surprise at Microsoft's Thursday event, but also the biggest risk the company is taking with the new operating system.

Why it matters: The move instantly gives Windows the chance to offer thousands of key apps that prior versions didn't support, bolstering its utility, especially when in tablet mode. However, it also risks giving developers less incentive to create Windows-specific apps.

How it works: Microsoft is working with partners to deliver Android apps on Windows 11 PCs.

  • Intel is helping on the technical front, while users will obtain the apps through Amazon's App Store.
  • That means, barring a separate deal, Windows 11 won't run Google's suite of Android apps, including YouTube, Gmail and Google Maps.
  • Microsoft will also make it easier for users to access web-based apps directly from Windows and has already added support for Linux as well.

Gartner analyst Stephen Kleynhans told Axios that Microsoft has been positioning Windows as the "do everything" OS for some time, a move boosted by the addition of Android.

  • "One obvious hole was the lack of mobile applications," Kleynhans said. "With this announcement Microsoft can now claim that Windows can run pretty much any application regardless of what platform it was written for (except of course for Apple's platforms)."

Yes, but: In the long term, Microsoft needs not just lots of apps, but also ones that fully take advantage of Windows.

What they're saying: In an interview, longtime Microsoft executive Yusuf Mehdi said, "By having Android apps on the platform, we think that makes Windows that much more relevant."

  • At the same time, he acknowledged that it will be on Microsoft to convince all developers that Windows is a platform worth writing for. "The onus is on us," he said.

Go deeper: Windows 11 takes aim at Apple and Google

Go deeper

Sep 28, 2021 - Technology

TikTok hits 1 billion users

Data: Axios research; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

TikTok on Monday said that it has amassed more than 1 billion monthly active users in its short lifetime, joining an exclusive club of apps that have already reached that size.

Why it matters: TikTok has continued to grow despite enormous pressure from regulators around the globe and increased competition from copycat products built by its competitors.

8 mins ago - World

U.S. envoy to visit Sudan as "most dangerous" crisis intensifies

The sit-in in Khartoum. Photo: Mahmoud Hjaj/Anadolu Agency via Getty

U.S. envoy for the Horn of Africa Jeffrey Feltman will visit Khartoum this week amid what Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok has called the “worst and most dangerous" crisis of Sudan’s transition to democracy, two sources with direct knowledge tell Axios.

Driving the news: Roughly 2,000-3,000 people had joined a sit-in in Khartoum as of this afternoon, per Reuters, after protesters massed over the weekend to call on the military to bring down the government. The protests came just four weeks after a failed military coup.

Trump sues National Archives, Jan. 6 committee to block records request

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Trump filed a lawsuit Monday seeking to block the National Archives from releasing White House records to the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, citing executive privilege.

Why it matters: It's the latest escalation in Trump's campaign to disrupt the committee's sweeping probe into the circumstances surrounding Jan. 6, including his actions and communications leading up to the Capitol attack.

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