Microsoft’s Xamarin acquisition may bring Universal Windows Apps to iOS & Android
Microsoft’s recenlty acquired a cross-platform development environment Xamarin. This is a extremely good news not just for Visual Studio developers, who will now be able to code for iOS and Android using familiar tools for presumably a much lower price (currently between $1000 and $2000 per year) but also good news for Windows 10 users on Mobile and desktop, as apps would naturally easily flow to Microsoft’s own platforms also.
Xamarin lets developers write C# code that will be natively compiled to iOS or Android, which runs at similar speed as apps written in Objective-C, Swift, or Java.
While Microsoft’s bridges initiative was designed to allow iOS and Android apps to be easily ported to Windows 10, this move would allow developers to write an app once and truly see it executed on all the major platforms, a long time holy grail of app development. Developers will be attracted to the technology not only because they want to code for Windows (many do not care) but because Xamarin will let them code for iOS and Android with only one code base, which is extremely attractive even if you do not care about the 200 million Windows 10 users. Developers who were previously reticent about using a small vendor such as Xamarin will now be reassured by Microsoft’s steady presence, which should mean much increased uptake of the technology..
The move is part of Microsoft’s strategy of Embrace and Extend, where they attempt to colonize Apple and Google’s platforms, which would eventually mean users will be able to use Microsoft’s services on any platform, and Microsoft’s developers will be able to reach the same customers on whatever platform they are on and will hopefully prevent the alternative, which is ever fading relevance of Microsoft’s desktop empire.