Xamarin is the tool to close the app gap in the future


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Jan 10, 2013
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I'd be surprised if Microsoft doesn't announce the acquisition of Xamarin in build 2014.

Xamarin is a tool that allows developers to build iOS and Android apps using the Microsoft tools and languages which are the best in class and the more productive. With Xamarin developers reuse most of their code and only build a native UI for each platform: iOS, Android and Windows.
An app developed with Apple tools or Android tools is really hard to port, you have to rewrite the whole app in a new language with new tools, hire more developers, a really expensive process. But if those apps would be written with MS tools the porting process would be really easy and low cost.
Xamarin is a small startup and they don't have a free tier, even thought the adoption of the tool is increasing because It brings so many benefits. If Microsoft buys them they could accelerate the adoption of this tool to a new level, increasing Its visibility, the support, and creating a free tier, giving the tool for free to startups and independent developers.
This would also help with the adoption of Azure, the cloud computing offering of Microsoft, which is tightly integrated with the Microsoft development tools.

Xamarin was founded by Miguel de Icaza which is respected personality in the open source world, It would be great for the image of Microsoft if they could integrate de Icaza into the company and if they make other open source friendly announcement, for example if they make official the adoption of Android open source project for the Nokia X.

There are some rumors that Microsoft is also building a cross platform game framework, that effort is aligned with this strategy. Even if Windows fails, Microsoft would expand the tool business which is already a billion dollar business and the benefit for azure could be huge.

Microsoft has to conquered Android and iOS from within, becoming a decisive player in those platforms and creating migration path to Windows. A strategy of isolation is the path to irrelevance.

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