Microsoft puts Windows 11 Android support on the chopping block

"When possible, make a U-turn."

Waving Droid says Goodbye to Windows 11 Android support.

Microsoft is ending its Windows 11 Subsystem for Android. Soon, the operating system will no longer support its optional Android emulator or any of its Android-related apps. The Redmond giant first announced it was bringing Android apps via Amazon’s Appstore to Windows 11 in 2021, and now it will officially axe this support on March 5, 2025. Four years isn’t exactly a bad run, even for Microsoft, but it’s a short stay nonetheless.

“Microsoft is ending support for the Windows Subsystem for Android (WSA),” the company announced on the WSA support page. “As a result, the Amazon Appstore on Windows and all applications and games dependent on WSA will no longer be supported beginning March 5, 2025.”

Similarly, Amazon also reassured its customers and developers that the two company’s are partnering to create a smooth end of service experience.

For now, users may still download and use Android apps from the Amazon Appstore. Unless developers decide to remove their apps from the store, they’ll still be available after the support cutoff date. However, developers will no longer be able to submit new Windows 11-compatible apps after March 5, 2024. Finally, after March 6, 2024, customers will no longer be able to search for the Amazon Appstore or associated apps from the Microsoft Store. Thems the breaks, kids.

Bye Bye Bye

WSA was a key selling point for Windows 11, and many users were excited about the merger. Microsoft has also remained quite faithful in supporting the emulator with constant updates since its inception. So, it’s quite surprising to see it canned so early. Well, kind of.

You see, the Windows maker’s biggest failure was only supporting App downloads via the Amazon Appstore. Android Users (including myself) are so familiar with Google’s ecosystem to even bother with any other third-party app store. Also, Microsoft didn’t realise the full potential of this support either, be it through the quirky but cool Surface Duo 2 or Surface Pro 9 tablet. That’s just the cold, hard truth.

The Amazon Appstore also has rather limited content. Without the support of Google Play services, there’s no need to have the app on your PC. There’s no access to day-to-day apps like Gmail, Maps, Meet, or even YouTube. Besides this, the most popular social media apps like X, Facebook, WhatsApp, and TikTok run rather contently through your web browser. The same is true for entertainment apps like Netflix, Apple TV, Spotify, and the like.

Hitting the final nail in the coffin, the Microsoft Store has matured quite a lot since its inception and has apps for most, if not all, of these services. Alternatively, if you really want Android functionality on your PC, there’s a plethora of apps that perform this task. It’s all a matter of knowing what to look for.