Those people who miss their favorite Android apps when using their PCs will be delighted to hear that a start-up called Blue Stacks is working towards solving their problem. The company announced today its funding of $7.6 million for the first round from Radar Partners, Ignition Ventures and Andreessen Horowtz for the virtualization technology of the company which provides a foundation for using the Google mobile platform Android on top of Microsoft Windows. It also has a partnership with Citrix for distribution to interested businesses and PC makers which are yet unnamed.
Rosen Sharma, the CEO and co-founder of Blue Stacks, who has also previously worked with McAfee as the Chief Technology Officer, describes the plan as being very simplistic. He said that the attempts started after the daughter of another co-founder of the company wanted to use the same apps that she did on an Android phone on a netbook. He said that a very large number of people, both consumers and enterprises, want the ability to use mobile apps on their computers.
Sharma gave several examples of how users could be interested in having mobile apps such as LinkedIn for their social and work connections, a sports app for staying updated with their favorite sports or Pulse apps for reading the latest news, on their home and workplace computers. As far as businesses are concerned, they would want to extend the reach of the mobile applications which they have created for their employees. Sharma said that a lot of companies are making their own apps inside the company. He added that the people who were earlier making iOS apps have now moved on to Android as their preferred mobile platform, making Android the most widely accepted developer platform.
Blue Stacks was incorporated in 2008 and now has plans for releasing a free beta version which will be available for download in June or July, with a final version slated for release sometime in the fourth quarter of 2011. The pricing of the final version hasn’t been decided yet. The company has also said that its partnerships with PC makers will be announced starting from next week. Currently, Blue Stacks uses only the Android marketplace of Amazon for distributing apps as Google has restricted its Android Market to distribute only to specific ARM based devices.