WASHINGTON: Microsoft yesterday unveiled a new version of its Windows software powering most of the world’s computers, opening the door to apps tailored for the Google-backed Android operating system.
It said Windows 11 will be available by this year-end as a free update to its predecessor.
Features include bringing Android apps to Windows for the first time by letting personal computer users get them through the Amazon App Store.
The selection will be limited by Android apps offered by Amazon, meaning some popular apps will not be available.
In a streamed presentation, Microsoft chief product officer Panos Panay demonstrated the change with a TikTok app, saying it is a favourite of his.
“Imagine recording and posting a video from TikTok right from your personal computer,” he said.
Microsoft overhauled its store on Windows for apps and other digital content to make it more inviting, and said developers will be able to use their own commerce platforms to avoid paying any commissions to the tech giant.
The move comes with Apple under fire for the bite it takes out of transactions at the App Store, which serves as the only gateway for content on its iPhones and other devices.
Along with simplifying the Windows design in a bid to make the user interface cleaner and quicker, Microsoft integrated it further into its Xbox cloud gaming service.
Windows 11 boasts features designed to ramp up video gameplay with rich graphics and more, according to the presentation.
The operating system also continued the trend of Microsoft opening its computers to devices powered by rivals, while bringing in revenue from services or software hosted in the cloud.
An early version of Windows 11 will be shared with those taking part in an “insiders programme” to glean feedback in the months leading up to its public release.