Xamarin

Here’s some stellar news for Windows Phone developers. Microsoft is rumored to buy software development company Xamarin. Microsoft and Xamarin have always had a cozy relationship. Last November the two tightened their marketing and technical ties with a new partnership deal. Xamarin is a popular tool because it allows developers to create Android and iOS applications uses C#, the development language of choice for a lot of Windows Phone and Windows 8 developers. Now Microsoft might buy Xamarin.

Rumors suggest recent talks between with Xamarin (www.xamarin.com) and Microsoft that will result in either a huge investment or an acquisition. It’s not just Xamarin though, Microsoft is also looking into other companies with similar product offerings that make it easier to run mobile applications on a variety of devices. Microsoft is also considering building its own programming tools to allow similar functionality.

Xamarin (and similar companies) allow developers to quickly create Android and iOS apps in the same development environment and with the same development language. Xamarin is already used by nearly 500,000 developers to create fully native apps on Windows, Mac, Android and iOS by using C#.

With the purchase of Xamarin, Microsoft could further entice Android and iOS developers to work put their apps out on Windows Phone and Windows 8. Developers can reuse their favorite .NET libraries and easily incorporate platform-specific libraries and frameworks into the apps.

Here’s what Windows Phone developer Daniel Gary (@danielgary) thinks of the potential Xamarin acquisition by Microsoft:

“Microsoft buying Xamarin would be a great move to encourage developers to adopt Windows Phone. Being able to write the majority of your code once and it run on the top three smartphone platforms is a great incentive for developer.”

Xamarin isn’t the only option for developers to easily create apps for multiple platforms at once. We’ve previously covered PhoneGap before. We’ve also seen a few apps on Windows Phone that were created by PhoneGap, like Untappd.

However those apps produced via PhoneGap aren’t always of the highest quality. PhoneGap relies on HTML5 and a WebBrowser control to create apps for all three mobile platforms. Xamarin produces apps that use native code/controls for the various platforms. The result is a better app experience.

Any devs out there excited by the prospect of Microsoft buying Xamarin?

Source: CRN, Bloomberg