At the Connect() event in New York City, Xamarin extended their partnership with Microsoft and announced a new set of offers for developers. Xamarin enables development of cross-platform mobile applications targeting phones, tablets, and embedded devices running on iOS, Android, Mac, and Windows.

Connect(), a developer event hosted by Microsoft outlining the company's next steps with their developer tools and application platforms, was branded as a cloud-first, mobile-first, developer-first, virtual event. At the event, Nat Friedman, CEO, Xamarin and Miguel de Icaza, CTO, Xamarin joined Microsoft executives on stage and talked about their partnership.

The company executives shared that after launching the partnership with Microsoft one year ago, they've reached over 20,000 companies with Xamarin's platform. Taking the partnership to the next level, the company announced a free Xamarin Starter Edition for Visual Studio users. Earlier in the event, Microsoft announced a new, free edition of Visual Studio —Visual Studio Community – and the freely available Xamarin Starter Edition will work with Visual Studio Community. Also, the size limit on apps that can be created with Xamarin Starter Edition has been doubled allowing developers to build even more capable apps for free.

Xamarin also announced support for the Visual Studio 2015 Preview release. The preview version includes Xamarin templates that make it easier to discover and download Xamarin from within the IDE. Also, Microsoft is now including templates for building iOS and Android apps with Xamarin directly in Visual Studio 2015.

To round off the announcements, the company shared that they've worked with Microsoft to create a special offer for MSDN Subscribers. Visual Studio Premium and Ultimate MSDN subscribers can avail a 20% discount to purchase Xamarin Business or Enterprise Editions, or mobile development training with Xamarin University, available up to 60 days after the Visual Studio Purchase.

If you are an app developer and have been thinking of trying out Xamarin, this is a pretty good deal. Also, the friendly folks at Xamarin have asked developers to write to them to extend their expired trial period to another 30 days to explore the new features.

Source: Xamarin