Microsoft's Windows 11 will be able to run apps developed for Google's Android operating system natively (albeit not at launch) in a bid to bring useful programs and games to PCs. Apparently, the software giant might want to go even further and bring Android apps to its Xbox game consoles, too, at least according to a listing at the Microsoft Store.
To let developers ensure that their Android apps work on Windows 11 and test their stability, Microsoft recently started to offer its Windows Subsystem for Android (opens in new tab) tool in its Store (as discovered by Slashgear). The program can be used on any x64 or Arm64-based device running Windows 10 version 22000.0 or higher, or on Xbox One. However, the tool is listed as 'available on PC' and cannot be found in the Xbox version of the Microsoft Store.
We don't know exactly why Microsoft listed its Xbox consoles as compatible with the Windows Subsystem for Android program. Perhaps Microsoft wanted to enable Android games developers (especially for games compatible with Xbox controllers) to test them on consoles for some reason. It's also possible that Microsoft plans to bring Android games to Xbox consoles to make them more competitive with Sony's PlayStation 5.
Formally, Windows 11 users will be able to discover Android apps at Microsoft Store, then buy them from Amazon's Appstore, and then run them using Intel's bridge technology that enables software developed for Arm-based SoCs and Android to run on x86 processors and Windows 11. In reality, Microsoft does not plan to implement any measures to stop users from installing Android apps obtained elsewhere on Windows 11. Meanwhile, since Microsoft's Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S systems have a lot in common with Windows, there should be hardly any technical difficulties with running Android apps on these consoles.
At present, it is too early to say that Microsoft plans to enable Android apps on Xbox. In the end, productivity apps for Android could transform the latest Xbox consoles into inexpensive yet quite capable PCs, and Microsoft isn't exactly interested in this. On the other hand, if the company wants to offer platforms compatible with competing platforms, enabling Android apps on Xbox consoles is logical.