Perhaps Microsoft’s Most Important Acquisitions of 2016
In a widely anticipated move, Microsoft this week agreed to acquire Xamarin, a company that allows developers to build fully native apps across several platforms from a single shared code base.a leading platform provider for mobile app development.
As mobile app development becomes the most important software development front globally, Microsoft has long been under pressure to gain a foot-hold in the mobile world largely dominated by Apple and Google, as its own Microsoft Phone platform has been a very small player in the cut-throat smartphone business. Hence the acquisition of Xamarin by Microsoft is very strategic in providing .NET Developers world-wide the ability to write iOS and Android apps using and leveraging their .NET & C#, and at the same time making their apps available to Microsoft’s own Phone platform.
Xamarin has more than 15,000 customers in 120 countries, including more than one hundred Fortune 500 companies – and more than 1.3 million unique developers have taken advantage of their offering. Top enterprises such as Alaska Airlines, Coca-Cola Bottling, Thermo Fisher, Honeywell and JetBlue use Xamarin, as do gaming companies like SuperGiant Games and Gummy Drop. Through Xamarin Test Cloud, all types of mobile developers—C#, Objective-C, Java and hybrid app builders —can also test and improve the quality of apps using thousands of cloud-hosted phones and devices. Xamarin was recently named one of the top startups that help run the Internet.
Microsoft has also had a longstanding partnership with Xamarin, and have jointly built Xamarin integration into Visual Studio, Microsoft Azure, Office 365 and the Microsoft Enterprise Mobility Suite to provide developers with an end-to-end workflow for native, secure apps across platforms. Microsoft has also worked closely with Xamarin to offer the training, tools, services and workflows developers need to succeed.
It remains to be seen though if Microsoft will use its financial clout to adjust Xamarin’s aggressive pricing model, that remains a barrier in allowing more developers to get on board and start building mobile apps using their platform.