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BlueStacks now runs Android apps on XP, Vista and Windows 7 PCs

22 November 2011, Mike Williams

Running Android apps on a PC used to require some careful work with VirtualBox, or perhaps making use of the horribly slow emulator included with the Android SDK.

The first version of BlueStacks made life much simpler for Windows 7 users, though: install the program and you could run its bundled apps right away.

And the latest release, while still an alpha version, has now extended the platform enabling it to run on Windows XP and Vista. As long as it’s reasonably up-to-date, anyway: XP installations require Service Pack 3, and you’ll need at least Windows installer 4.5 and the .NET Framework 2.0 SP2 as well.

As with previous builds, run BlueStacks and at first there’s not a lot to see. A small number of apps will help you browse the latest headlines via Bloomberg, or play a few games and puzzles, but that’s about it.

These generally all run fairly smoothly in BlueStacks full-screen environment, though. Clicking Get More Apps opens a browser window where you’ll find blog and news-related apps, games and more. And there’s also information on Cloud Connect, a system which allows you to push apps from your Android phone to BlueStacks itself.

Unsurprisingly, this doesn’t always as smoothly as we might like (BlueStacks is still an alpha version, after all). It does at least give you a chance of getting any favourite apps onto your PC, though, and thanks to this latest build, means you’ll be able to run them on most XP, Vista or Windows 7 systems. That works for us, and it’ll be interesting to see what other goodies BlueStacks might add in the future.

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