On Feb 24, Microsoft announced that it has signed an agreement to acquire Xamarin, a leading platform provider for mobile app development. This is a strategic and crucial move for Microsoft to get more apps onto its Universal Windows Platform, earn the next one million users of Visual Studio, and provide a new appealing mobile Test Cloud offering in its Visual Studio Team Services.
Xamarin is a San Francisco, California based software company created in May 2011 by the engineers that created Mono, Mono for Android and MonoTouch that are cross-platform implementations of the Common Language Infrastructure (CLI) and Common Language Specifications (often called Microsoft .NET). With a C#-shared codebase, developers can use Xamarin tools to write native Android, iOS, and Windows apps with native user interfaces and share code across multiple platforms.
In addition, Xamarin offers “Test Cloud”, which allows developers to see how apps perform on any device — Android, iPhone, BlackBerry, etc. All of that gets rolled into Microsoft’s business now, making it appealing to developers.
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.
The Wall Street Journal estimates the acquisition price of Xamarin at between $400 and $500 million. In its five-year lifespan, Xamarin had raised $82 million in investment capital.