Microsoft’s Surface Pro runs millions of desktop Windows apps. Few of those apps, though, were designed for touch. Though Microsoft is pitching the device to professionals, sometimes even the pros like to get their Temple Run on. Enter Android emulator BlueStacks, which brings over 750,000 mobile apps to the Surface Pro.

BlueStacks’ app player has been available for Mac OS X and Windows for over a year. However, this is the first version that's optimized specifically for Windows 8 and the Surface Pro. It offers a Metro-like full-screen mode for apps, and a Charms menu that activates with an edge-swipe. Android apps will (almost) run like native Windows 8 apps.

With BlueStacks, many apps that are currently MIA on Windows 8 are now fair game. Think Flipboard, Pinterest, Instagram, Pocket, and Instapaper. BlueStacks can potentially fill a gaping hole in Surface’s software library, as the Windows Store gradually builds a collection of touch-friendly apps.


Emulated software, though, often delivers a compromised experience. On other platforms, the BlueStacks app player has been prone to lag and crashing (it’s labelled as beta software). Don't be surprised to see more of the same on the Surface-optimized version.

Additionally, most of the Android apps available in BlueStacks are blown-up phone apps: hardly ideal for Surface’s spacious 10.6-inch screen.

BlueStacks also doesn’t run on Surface Pro’s baby brother, Surface with Windows RT. Surface RT, whose software situation is much more dire than Surface Pro (it only runs Windows Store apps) is left out of the Android fun.

Owners of Surface Pro – and other Windows 8 devices – who want to try out the emulator can snag BlueStacks at the source link below.