Project Astoria, the tool intended for emulating Android apps on Windows 10, has hit a snag. A report released on Friday revealed that Microsoft's developer forums have gone quiet, developer builds have removed the project, and the effort may have been scrapped entirely.
Sources speaking to Windows Central claim that the project is not going well. Scrapping it entirely would be a major blow to Windows 10 on mobile, which needs as much developer support as it can get. The Windows phone app store has around 340,000 apps according to Statista, trailing behind the Google Play Store count of 1.6 million.
First announced in April, the project sits alongside three other frameworks intended to get developers on board with Windows 10: Project Centennial, for porting older Win32 apps; Project Westminster, for porting web apps; and Project Islandwood, for porting iOS apps. As a sign of how Astoria may be too much work, Islandwood reportedly had five developers working on it. Astoria had between 60 and 80.
Microsoft told the publication that Astoria is "not ready yet," but that Islandwood and Westminster are ready to go, with Centennial available soon. The company also states that these other tools "offer great options for developers," highlighting the fact that using Islandwood to bring an iOS app over means developers can use native Windows development tools, better integrating into the operating system.
The news may seem like a blow to Microsoft, but out of the four tools for bringing developers onto Windows 10, Astoria meant developers didn't need to put in the effort to make their app run well on Windows. Like iOS and Android, Windows apps have their own distinctive style, and asking developers to consciously bring their apps over to Windows through a porting tool may in the long run be a better solution than direct emulation.