Microsoft rounds out mobile app development capabilities by acquiring long-time partner Xamarin

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Microsoft is looking to bolster its mobile application development capabilities. The company just signed an agreement to acquire Xamarin, which provides mobile and cloud-based tools for developing and managing the lifecycle of mobile apps.

Scott Guthrie, executive vice president of the Microsoft Cloud and Enterprise group, announced the news on his corporate blog this morning, noting that Xamarin's mobile app development capabilities add to what Microsoft already offers with Visual Studio.

What Xamarin provides is a "rich mobile development offering" for developers to create mobile apps using the C# programming language. But it's more than that. Its goal is to provide developers with everything they need to deliver fully native mobile apps on iOS, Android and Windows devices.

"Xamarin's approach enables developers to take advantage of the productivity and power of .NET to build mobile apps, and to use C# to write to the full set of native APIs and mobile capabilities provided by each device platform," Guthrie wrote. "This enables developers to easily share common app code across their iOS, Android and Windows apps while still delivering fully native experiences for each of the platforms."

Also of interest is that Xamarin provides developers with the ability to share common app code across the different platforms, ensuring some level of portability.

After the app is built, the Xamarin Test Cloud is available to run it through its paces.

Microsoft and Xamarin are no strangers to each other. As Guthrie noted in his blog, the two companies have had a relationship for some time – a relationship that included Xamarin integrations with Visual Studio, Microsoft Azure, Office 365 and the Microsoft Enterprise Mobility Suite.

Microsoft's plan is to deepen that integration and provide a more complete mobile app development suite of products. The vendor plans to unveil more details about its plans for Xamarin at Build in March and at Xamarin Evolve in late April.

For more:
- read Scott Guthrie's blog

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