Asus, one of the World’s leading PC manufacturers, has recently announced a partnership with BlueStacks which will bring Android apps to the Asus range of home computers. For the uninitiated: BlueStacks is emulation software which enables users to run Android apps on Windows computers. It’s a relatively young concept with the Bluestacks Silicon Valley based company officially launching in just May of last year.
Asus is set to include the BlueStacks application in its asus@vibe entertainment platform, which currently ships on all Asus computers. Bluestacks will be available for Asus computers already in the market place as soon as it appears on the asus@vibe website – which was actually scheduled for June 4th, but a quick visit to the site reveals no mention at the time of writing this article. The initial batch of Asus computers with BlueStacks fully integrated is expected to begin shipping in September.
Now here’s the rub: BlueStacks is set to include six months free access to all the thousands of Android apps, after which time consumers must pay a subscription fee in order to continue unlimited access. For those who elect not to pay – BlueStacks will still operate fine but with a dramatically reduced number of apps available, around 50-60.
Now, I have no problem with a developer (or company) seeking ways to monetize their efforts BUT – having to pay a subscription for a service which is universally accepted as being available for free everywhere else does appear a tad harsh. Imagine if Google Play or the Apple App Store were to charge users a fee in order to access all available apps. It’s a bit like having to pay just to view the catalog, or is that an unfair analogy?
Surely Bluestacks could come up with a more [seemingly] equitable method for generating revenue, even if they believe the subscription-for-access scenario is a fair one, I seriously doubt potential users will view it that way – it’s a matter of perception. Incidentally, the actual schedule of fees is not yet available; whether it will involve monthly subscriptions, annual, whatever remains unknown… as does the actual dollar amount.