BlueStacks would be the armor Microsoft would be looking at as it is gearing up to launch its Windows 8 operating system, which is expected to work on both PCs and tablets with the tablet version termed as Metro.

By releasing a tablet version of Windows 8, Microsoft would be competing with Apple's iOS and Google's Android operating systems. Much has been written about Windows 8 features.

Windows 8 has been developed with the Touchscreen technology in mind. Although the traditional mouse and keyboard system works just fine, Microsoft still want to make a better use of the upcoming Metro UI as the future option.

Another striking feature of this OS is that the user can zoom around the tile interface while enjoying games and working with the device that has touch interface. Another speculated feature is the tile-based Gaze interface from Tobii that enables the user to move the cursor with his eyes. However, nothing surely can be said about the 'Gaze' interface.

Even if Microsoft develops a competent mobile operating system, it would be tough to beat Apple and Google as they were early entrants and they have a strong ecosystem to attract the users. In addition, Microsoft would face a daunting task in attracting developers to build apps for Windows 8.

While there are tons of applications available for standard Windows, they aren't compatible with Windows 8 Metro mode. Microsoft has already made tools available to developers so that they can create Metro apps. However, it's likely that they won't be able to catch up with Apple's iPad in terms of the number of available apps.

Even Android which was launched for tablets more than a year ago still doesn't offer many tablet specific apps - most Android apps are smartphone apps scaled up to fit the tablet interface, said stock analysis firm Trefis.

The lack of apps might be one of the greatest obstacles to the success of Windows 8 on tablets. Until Windows 8 attracts a significant tablet user base, it won't be able to attract developers. And until developers build a lot of Windows 8 Metro apps, no customer would want to buy a Windows 8 tablet, Trefis added.

Now this is where BlueStacks come to the rescue of Microsoft. At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), BlueStacks said its App Player software, which runs mobile apps natively on PCs and tablets, is now compatible with Windows 8.

Last year, California-based BlueStacks released the Apps-on-PC program that made thousands of Android apps accessible on Windows-based PCs, and now the company is looking to bring the same program to mobile devices.

BlueStacks will integrate over 400,000 Android apps seamlessly into the operating system, where they will take the form of tiles alongside other programs. It is the only program worldwide that can run native mobile applications that are ARM-based or x86, windowed or fullscreen, on Windows PCs and tablets.

The Metro UI is beautiful, but the number one thing Windows 8 is missing is apps. This changes all that, noted BlueStacks CEO Rosen Sharma.

This could be a cause of worry for Google as BlueStacks makes creating mobile apps for the Windows 8 platform unnecessary, as most every app built for Android will now run on Windows 8 without any porting. The software will support both standard desktop and Metro UI modes.

Indirectly, BlueStacks would pave way for the development of Windows 8 operating system without requiring building specific apps. If it gets the support of original equipment manufacturers and app developers, then Windows 8 could become one of the top tablet platforms in the coming years.

In addition, as consumers are accustomed to Windows on their PCs, they are likely to embrace Windows 8 on their tablets as well, especially if they can use the same applications and software on their PCs and tablets.

Windows 8 will offer better integration with Windows Phone 7, and together, they will offer a complete ecosystem just like Apple's Mac OS X and iOS, which should make it the platform of choice for hardware manufacturers looking for a non-Apple unified solution.

Microsoft, with the kind of its technical and marketing expertise, is expected not to spare a single effort in promoting its next iteration of Windows operating system. Microsoft has high hopes for Windows 8, the biggest overhaul since Windows 95.

The beta version of BlueStacks App Player software is expected to be available this February, with a full release coming sometime in the spring. It would be interesting to see how Google approaches the issue.