Microsoft expands its .NET portfolio

25 Feb 2016

Microsoft has acquired Xamarin, with the latter’s CEO Nat Friedman and CTO Miguel de Icaza (right either side of Scott Guthrie, executive vice president of the Microsoft Cloud and Enterprise Group

Microsoft has completed what seems like a three-year project, finally buying .NET expert Xamarin after partnering up since 2013.

Microsoft’s move to buy Xamarin underlines the company’s plans to move beyond the Windows platform. Microsoft’s .NET was set up well over a decade ago now, but always ended up constricted to a Windows-only field.

However, operators outside of Microsoft were shifting away from that, notably Xamarin, with  the 2013 decision to pair up and turn Visual Studio into a cross-platform development tool the first sign that the tech giant was peering beyond its borders.

That partnership strengthened a year later when a chunk of .NET was open sourced, with this acquisition – reported at between $400m to $500m – merely the next stage in one of the more interesting tech acquisitions of recent times.

Xamarin’s fingerprints are all over Microsoft apps like Visual Studio, Microsoft Azure, Office 365 and the Enterprise Mobility Suite, with other tools in the background, too.

However, news of the acquisition means Microsoft “will be taking this work much further,” says Scott Guthrie, executive VP of its cloud and enterprise group.

“The combination of Xamarin, Visual Studio, Visual Studio Team Services, and Azure provides a complete mobile app dev solution that provides everything you need to develop, test, deliver and instrument mobile apps for every device.

“We are really excited to see what developers build with it.”

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic