BlueStacks, a startup that has developed a popular method to run Android apps on Windows and Mac PCs, isn’t too threatened by Intel’s reported entry into this sector.
News broke earlier today that Intel is planning a big announcement for CES 2014 next week, where it will announce a new computing initiative that brings Android apps to Windows PCs. Given the faltering PC market, the plan (dubbed “Dual OS” internally and potentially “PC Plus” once it’s announced) would give Intel an easy way to breathe some life into PCs.
“We pioneered PC Plus two and half years ago,” said BlueStacks CEO Rosen Sharma in a statement. “BlueStacks AppPlayer has broad adoption across 100-plus countries and tens of millions of users. Our learning from the market is that the space is really ‘Mobile Plus’ and is driven by people wanting mobile phones to work seamlessly with their other devices.”
What makes this story even more interesting is that Intel is also an investor in BlueStacks (along with Qualcomm and AMD). While you’d think BlueStacks would be worried about Intel encroaching on its territory, Rosen actually seems emboldened.
“We see PC Plus as an umbrella for this space [running Android on Windows], not exactly the technology,” Rosen told me in an interview. “I think more interestingly, given how much success we are having in the space, that’s a big catalyst for all people to move in this direction … I don’t think it’s competing, I think it’s actually great.”
Rosen likens PC Plus to Intel’s Ultrabook initiative from a few years ago, an arguably desperate maneuver to replicate the success of Apple’s MacBook Air in PCs. While I’m a fan of many Ultrabooks, the concept alone hasn’t done much to keep PC sales afloat.
“If you look at where we started, the amount of traction we got surprised us also,” Rosen said, adding that the company is still seeing more than 100,000 new downloads every day. “I think it’s because people just want what they’re doing on their phones on their desktop. It’s a different perspective — sometimes it’s difficult for people to understand that the PC is not the center of the universe anymore.”