In continuation with its cross-platform mobile approach, Microsoft has announced to acquire mobile app development platform, Xamarin for an undisclosed amount.
The acquisition is expected to be completed by the end of march. Xamarin has been Microsoft’s long term partner providing allowing developers to use Microsoft’s programming language C# to develop applications that can run not just on Windows but on Android, iOS, Linux and OS X, as well.
While Microsoft intends to retain Xamarin’s branding and continue to employ all of its 350 workers, including co-founders Nat Friedman and Miguel de Icaza, this partnership has helped Microsoft pick up more than 15,000 customers in 120 countries, including Alaska Airlines Inc., Coca-Cola Bottling Co. and JetBlue Airways Corp. According to Microsoft, on its blog
, there are more than 1.3 million unique developers, who have taken advantage of Xamarin’s offering.
The San-Francisco based company that came into existence in 2011, had raised a sweeping $82 million in funding rounds led by venture-capital firms including Charles River Ventures, Floodgate, Ignition Partners, Insight Venture Partners and Lead Edge Capital.
A push to enterprise mobility
Since Satya Nadella succeeded Steve Ballmer as CEO, the company has focused on a cross-platform mobile approach, creating strong versions of Office that run on Android and iOS as well as Windows 10 Mobile. This collaboration is a push to further the standards of enterprise mobility and accelerate the entire mobile development lifecycle, from planning and building apps to maintaining them in production. The partnership integrates Xamarin and Microsoft’s Office 365, Microsoft Azure, and Microsoft Intune, and an enhanced DevOps workflow that integrates Xamarin Platform and Xamarin Test Cloud with Visual Studio Team Services (formerly Visual Studio Online) to allow efficient development and continuous delivery.
Scott Guthrie, Microsoft’s Executive Vice President of the Cloud and Enterprise Group, in a blog post said:
“We have had a longstanding partnership with Xamarin, and have jointly built Xamarin integration into Visual Studio, Microsoft Azure, Office 365 and the Enterprise Mobility Suite to provide developers with an end-to-end workflow for native, secure apps across platforms,” wrote Guthrie, in a blog post on the site today. We have also worked closely together to offer the training, tools, services and workflows developers need to succeed.”
The Wall Street Journal
reported, Microsoft has struggled to establish a position in the mobile arena. Its own Windows Phone operating system held just 1.1% of the global smartphone market in the fourth quarter of 2015, according to market research firm Gartner Inc.
And this is not a first for Microsoft; it has been converging out of the umbrella to support Linux on its cloud service Azure in 2012 and also open sourced its .NET framework in 2014. Last year also saw a free version of its popular Vision Studio development environment that runs on Linux and OS X as well as Windows. This is unlike Microsoft which is known to patronize programming languages and tools on its own operating system and codes..
“This acquisition is a new beginning for Xamarin the company and its products and is an opportunity to help many more developers build great apps. Like many of you, I see Microsoft and Xamarin as a perfect fit. Microsoft’s mobile-first, cloud-first strategy is a great match for the Xamarin products and team,” wrote Xamarin CEO Nat Friedman, on a blog
on the Xamarin site.