Microsoft’s Xamarin acquisition opens door to truly universal Windows apps – InfoWorld

11 months ago Comments Off on Microsoft’s Xamarin acquisition opens door to truly universal Windows apps – InfoWorld

After years of “will they, won’t they” speculation, Microsoft has finally announced it will purchase Xamarin, the company that brought native Android and iOS development into Visual Studio. The acquisition makes perfect sense, but why now? Although the move should have been made a year ago, it’s not too late for Microsoft’s wider development ambitions.

By building on .Net and C#, Xamarin has provided Windows developers with an easy route to building applications outside the Windows ecosystem, without alienating users. Microsoft has struggled to deliver cross-platform development tooling on its own, relying on hybrid HTML5 applications for Android and iOS, making it hard to deliver the user experiences that Android and iOS users demand. Xamarin fills this gap.

Bringing the two organizations together adds cross-platform UI tooling to Microsoft’s developer platform, along with the compilers needed to deliver native code to mobile devices. By incorporating Xamarin into the official .Net toolchain, Microsoft could make Windows 10’s Universal Windows Platform truly universal.

Microsoft’s original Windows 10 bridge strategy was about bringing non-Windows applications to Windows, an approach that left many Windows developers feeling abandoned. Adding Xamarin’s tools to its developer platform gives Microsoft the missing piece in its cross-platform story, helping Windows developers build cross-platform apps that deliver native user experiences on Mac OS X, iOS, and Android, as well as various versions of Windows 10. These apps might even extend to Google’s and Apple’s smartwatch platforms.

Microsoft’s Xamarin acquisition opens door to truly universal Windows apps – InfoWorld