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Microsoft and Tencent Team Up for Android Games on Windows

Android apps are returning to Windows following Microsoft's failed efforts, through a partnership with Tencent.


Tencent has partnered with to introduce its games on the Microsoft Store, enabling these games to be played on Windows PCs. This strategic collaboration is set to enhance the gaming experience for Windows users by allowing them to install and run mobile applications directly on their computers. In Microsoft's announcement, Lin Songtao, 's vice president, expressed enthusiasm about tapping into the PC market and assisting developers in optimizing their products for Windows.

Historical Context and Previous Efforts

This initiative follows Microsoft's earlier attempt in 2022 to integrate Android apps into Windows through the Amazon app store, which provided access to over 50,000 mobile applications. However, that effort was discontinued a few months ago. The new collaboration with Tencent will initially offer around 1,500 apps, marking a more focused but potentially impactful approach.

In addition to the Tencent partnership, Microsoft has announced that and Tencent have jointly developed an upgraded Android engine. This engine is designed to leverage PC hardware capabilities, including artificial intelligence features that enhance tasks such as video smoothing at high frame rates, which is particularly beneficial for gamers. Intel's vice president and general manager for its China Software and Advanced Technology Group emphasized the ongoing collaboration to harness Intel's computing power and technology framework, aiming to create a unified PC application ecosystem.

Conference Announcement and Market Trends

The collaboration was officially unveiled at the Tencent App Store Cross-Platform Ecosystem Conference in Beijing on May 28. Windows users will be able to search for mobile applications through various channels, including the Microsoft Store, Start Menu, Windows Search, and Bing, facilitating easy installation. This partnership aims to address the disparity between the large PC user base and the relatively limited supply of content for PCs.

Market research indicates that while mobile internet development has matured, leading to a decline in smartphone shipments and app numbers, PC shipments have remained stable with a high number of active users. The Tencent App Store for PC, launched in 2023, utilizes Intel Bridge (IBT) and Celadon technologies to bridge the gap between x86 and ARM architectures. The upgraded Android engine includes features such as split-screen functionality, the ability to use PC hardware like cameras and microphones, and support for multitasking and multi-window operations.

Unified Account System and Security Measures

Tencent's game catalog includes globally popular titles like PUBG and Honor of Kings. The collaboration will introduce a unified account system, allowing players to seamlessly switch between platforms. This system will benefit both Tencent and Microsoft as they strive to maintain the PC's relevance in the Chinese market, aligning with Beijing's focus on promoting local technology. Additionally, Tencent has developed security tools to prevent the spread of malicious software and fraud through Android virtual terminals on PCs, working with the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology to establish standards for PC Android virtual terminal device identification.

The Tencent App Store for PC offers a native Windows application experience and has optimized login and payment processes for cross-platform use. Some games on the Tencent App Store for PC have seen a 100% increase in new users compared to their mobile-only releases, with PC payment scenarios accounting for over 40% of total revenue. Popular mobile applications in categories such as gaming, entertainment, content creation, and are expected to drive cross-platform experience demands.

Luke Jones
Luke Jones
Luke has been writing about all things tech for more than five years. He is following Microsoft closely to bring you the latest news about Windows, Office, Azure, Skype, HoloLens and all the rest of their products.

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