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Microsoft Surface Pro gets BlueStacks Android App support

Microsoft's Surface Pro tablet can now access around 750,000 Android apps with an optimised version of the BlueStacks App Player, which has been tweaked for Windows 8.

The Surface Pro uses the full version of Windows 8, the same operating system found on laptops and desktops. While that gives it compatibility with existing applications, few of these are optimised for a tablet interface - expecting the user to be interacting with the software using a keyboard and mouse instead.

By contrast, Android applications are developed specifically for touch-screen devices. Although originally created for smartphones, Android has since become the leading alternative to Apple's popular iOS in the tablet market - meaning there are plenty of apps available for the platform that play nicely on larger-screen devices.

The new BlueStacks Player Optimised for Surface Pro aims to bring the two together: installing the software on a Surface Pro allows access to Android applications on the device, which run at full speed and with access to the tablet's touch-screen interface. Popular applications available for Android but not for Windows include word game Scramble with Friends, the Pulse newsreader app, communications apps KakaoTalk and Viber, and even Instagram.

Using BlueStacks Player, these apps install and operate on the Surface Pro - immediately boosting the number of touch-oriented applications available for Microsoft's fledgling tablet line, bringing it more in line with rival devices from Apple and Google.

The release comes as Microsoft promises to address stock issues that have seen the 128GB Surface Pro model sell out inthe US, with the company claiming it will have more stock of the device in stores by this weekend. The 64GB model, meanwhile, remains available - largely thanks to a very small amount of usable storage space.

The BlueStacks Player for Surface Pro can be downloaded from the company's official site, alongside the existing Windows and Mac versions.

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