It’s already possible to run Android apps on Windows PCs thanks to a clever little app called BlueStacks. But now a group of Chinese developers are looking to take it a step further by actually allowing you to run the entire Android 4.0.3 “Ice Cream Sandwich” operating system, complete with Google Play support, as a native application on your on Windows Vista, Windows 7, or Windows 8 machine.
For now the project is still very much in development and as such it still requires a lot of tweaking to get things working properly. For instance, the Google Play Store needs to be side-loaded separately, and once you get that running most apps will still show up as incompatible since they don’t recognize your computer as a valid Android device. A thread on Reddit offers some guidance on how to get around this problem.
WindowsAndroid provides users with a stock Android user interface and leverages the Dalvik virtual machine to run Android apps. Since there’s no need for emulation apps can reportedly take advantage of your system’s hardware and graphics card for hardware acceleration. The program will support most screen resolutions and those that don’t have a touch screen can use their mouse and keyboard to navigate the interface.
Running Android on a desktop will have little to no practical use for most people, but the project itself seems interesting nonetheless and it’s worth a look if you haven’t had a chance to play with the platform yet. To try it out you’ll need to fill out a form on the developer’s site to get a download link on your inbox.