Before Computex started, Asus had released a video teasing the next “transformation”. It looked like the Taiwanese company was going to release another new Transformer tablet, or maybe announce the retail availability of the Transformer Infinity Pad. Rumors also suggested that the company might announce a Transformer tablet that dual boot between Windows and Android.
“ASUS is delighted to bring a vibrant selection of apps that were previously inaccessible on Windows PCs. Our partnership with BlueStacks is a valuable addition to the @vibe family,” noted Vira Chang, the Head of eBusiness Services at ASUS. “The integration of BlueStacks and @Vibe is central to ASUS’s consumer cloud strategy. Additionally, we are encouraged by the increased revenue potential that BlueStacks represents.”
The company finally unveiled its next “transformation” at Computex, which is a partnership between Asus and BlueStacks software. Thanks to this partnership, BlueStacks will ship its software on Asus-branded Zenbooks, Notebooks, Ultrabooks, Eee PCs, Desktops and any other segment which opens up in the future, under the asus@vibe brand.
For the unknown, the BlueStacks software will allow users to run Android apps on their PC. For the first 6 months, the software will be completely free to use, but after that users need to shell out some money so that they can use any number of Android apps on their Asus-branded PC.
BlueStacks announced at CES that its Android App Player will be compatible with Windows 8, the next version of Microsoft’s Windows OS which will work on both notebooks and tablets. BlueStacks’ Android App Player is an Android emulator for Windows, which is compatible with ARM and X86 hardware.
It unveiled an alpha version in October 2011, and will now support Windows 8 as well. The beta version of BlueStacks will be released in February 2012, with the final version coming later in 2012.
BlueStacks demonstrated its technology on a Windows 8 Ultrabook at CES. Its Android App Player will integrate all the apps in the Android market, over 400,000 of them, seamlessly into Windows 8. It will support both the Windows 8 desktop mode and the Metro mode. Getting developers to create apps for Windows 8 was going to be one of Microsoft’s biggest challenges. While this doesn’t obviate the need for native Windows 8 apps, it does bring Android vast library of apps to Windows 8.
“The Metro UI is beautiful, but the number one thing Windows 8 is missing is apps. This changes all that,” noted BlueStacks CEO Rosen Sharma.
BlueStacks recently raised funding, and is working with PC manufacturers and OEMs to pre-load the Bluestacks App Player on their devices.