Xamarin acquisition thoughts

Last week it was announced that Microsoft would be acquiring Xamarin, the popular toolset for building cross platform mobile apps with C#.

I presented a number of talks last year on building cross platforms mobile apps with Xamarin that you can view online.

It’s certainly an interesting piece of news, most people expected this to be announced at last year’s Build (or even the year before). Back then there was a school of though that it was better to keep Xamarin as a close partner rather than acquiring them. The belief was that this would better enable Xamarin to work with other “competitors” such as Apple, Google and IBM.

I think now in 2016 it makes a lot of sense, the developer pick up of UWP is slow (IMO because there’s currently on one platform with the desktop) and Microsoft need ways to drive more apps to the UWP platform.

Last year most of the announcements were around the application bridges, Astora, Centennial, Islandwood and Windsor (Android, Classic Windows, iOS and Web) as a way to bring more apps into the store (and hopefully the platform as well). Since the Astoria has been cancelled, we haven’t see much of Centennial but Islandwood is looking really good.

This strategy didn’t make themselves popular with a lot of Windows developers who thought these technologies would render them obsolete (a line of thought I didn’t wholly agree with).

Microsoft appears to be positioning themselves quite nicely in the cross platform cloud and developer tools space (I think it’s telling that announcement was on Scott Guthrie’s blog). By having a tool-set where it isn’t about migrating old apps but creating new cross platform apps I think they can better push Windows as a third platform as well as Android and iOS.

My thoughts on what may change over the next year or so.

Looking forward to what will be announced at Build, sadly will be missing this year though.