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BlueStacks passes 5 million installs and casts its gaze at Windows RT for Android apps

It may be a van­i­ty state, but it’s reveal­ing all the same.  Sil­i­con Val­ley based tech start­up BlueS­tacks, whose soft­ware lets users run their Android apps on PCs and Macs, has just exceed­ed 5 mil­lion organ­ic installs via its homepage.

As every busi­ness devel­op­ment asso­ciate, prod­uct man­ag­er and chief rev­enue offi­cer can tell you, this isn’t half bad con­sid­er­ing it only took the firm eight months to hit.  The mile­stone fol­lows news that the start­up has part­nered with Asus and AMD, both of which plan to pre-load its unique “Lay­er­cake” tech­nol­o­gy on more than 100 mil­lion units.

Android apps come to PCs – and maybe Win­dows RT?

Chip­mak­er AMD brought its cat­a­logue of apps to all its Win­dows 7 and Win­dows 8 devices with the launch of its app store “App­Zone” in Sep­tem­ber, and has opti­mized BlueS­tacks’ tech­nol­o­gy for all its GPUs and APUs.  It also led the $6.4 mil­lion Series B fund­ing round in Octo­ber 2011. BlueS­tacks’ total invest­ment now stands at $15 mil­lion, with oth­er investors includ­ing Qual­comm, Igni­tion Ven­tures, Cit­rix and Andresen Horowitz.

The recent part­ner­ships are just the begin­ning.  BlueS­tacks has plans to team up with more PC man­u­fac­tur­ers to pre-install its tech­nol­o­gy, help­ing to bring a fair swathe of the 750,000+ Android apps to all of them.  But a major step is rumored to be under­way, mak­ing “Lay­er­cake” avail­able to Win­dows RT, the mobile ver­sion of Win­dows 8 used for ARM devices.

A win-win scenario?

Although BlueS­tacks is nei­ther con­firm­ing nor deny­ing the rumor, if true, it could prove to be a win-win deal for both it and Microsoft.  Although it’s been push­ing its new Sur­face tablets hard, Microsoft has so far had dis­ap­point­ing sales, lead­ing MSFT to slash its ini­tial order from 4 mil­lion to 2 million.
And one of the chief rea­sons for the slow sales is like­ly to be the dearth of apps – devel­op­ers sim­ply haven’t built them for Win­dows 8 in any­thing like the num­bers cre­at­ed for iOS or Android devices.

Prob­lem solved?  Well, maybe. Microsoft’s Win­dows Defend­er may force BlueS­tacks to release its own app on the Win­dow Store – and then dis­ap­prove it.  But if it did devel­op the tech­nol­o­gy for ARM devices, it could deliv­er a huge boost to its own for­tunes and make the Sur­face tablet a good deal more attrac­tive to con­sumers, too.

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