Those who have looked at Windows 8 in general and at the Microsoft Surface Pro tablet in particular may find that there are not as many apps built for the tablet format as one may desire. Since the Windows SDK is rather very good, we think that this is only a matter of time before the number of quality apps is high enough, but in the meantime, what about running Android apps? That’s exactly what BlueStacks aims to do with a “Windows 8 optimized” software platform that can run Android apps – think of it as an Android emulator if you want. Note that I use the term “emulator” in a liberal way, since BlueStacks is not designed to run the Android OS, but only its apps.I’ve tried it on my desktop PC, and I have to say that it works quite well. After a small download, I was able to download Fruit Ninja and play in less than a few minutes. The process was easy. I have not tested productivity apps yet, but I really like the idea of BlueStacks. Since PC hardware is so much faster and since things like OpenGL are a superset of what’s available in Android today, things should work quite well in general, even if you can expect issues here and there.
For Microsoft Surface users, it could be an effective stop-gap measure until native Windows version of their favorite apps is available. In the meantime, they can still use a “real” version of Microsoft Office AND their favorite mobile apps. Overall, the user experience is not as easy as it would be if the apps were native, but it works.