Microsoft shows fruits of Xamarin acquisition with Visual Studio integration and more

In a startling development, Microsoft is committed to having a Mac IDE

In its continuing push towards making its tools available across platforms, Microsoft announced Thursday that it will give Windows developers using .NET the native ability inside Visual Studio to write applications to Android and iOS.

It's all thanks to tools from Xamarin, a company that Microsoft acquired earlier this year. Using Xamarin's SDK, developers can use C# to write applications that can run on Apple and Google's mobile platform, despite the language's history as a Microsoft product.

Xamarin previously offered that capability as an add-on for Visual Studio, but Microsoft is integrating it directly into the company's integrated development environment. In addition, Visual Studio Enterprise users will get access to Xamarin's enterprise-focused capabilities for free with their subscription.

Microsoft is also releasing Xamarin Studio, the Mac app built by the company, for free as a community edition, to match Visual Studio Community Edition on the PC.

Julia Liuson, the corporate vice president for Visual Studio, said in an interview that Microsoft sees Xamarin Studio as a permanent product that will serve as its IDE on the Mac. Looking towards the future, Liuson said that Microsoft is interested in keeping the Xamarin brand somewhat independent from Microsoft at least for the time being.

Both of those are interesting signs of Microsoft's commitment to cross-platform development. In addition to all of the Xamarin tools, Microsoft also offers users free access to Visual Studio Code, a cross-platform code editor that runs on Windows, Mac and Linux.

Xamarin's SDK and other tools will be released through the .NET Foundation under a MIT open source license. That's something of a departure for Xamarin, which has released a lot of its technology under the GNU Public License.

A Microsoft spokesperson said in an email that the move to a MIT license was supported by both Microsoft and Xamarin.

Making it easier for developers to build iOS and Android apps using C# will likely be enticing to companies that have plenty of .NET developers on staff and want to reduce the amount of time they spend coding mobile apps.

But looking towards the future, Microsoft is in a tight battle for developer mindshare with owners of other popular mobile platforms like Apple and Google and popular languages like Python.

Microsoft has been working hard to position its platforms as developer-friendly over the past two days of keynotes. The company just announced on Wednesday that developers will be able to use the bash Linux shell on Windows through a collaboration with Ubuntu maker Canonical.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Microsoft

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Blair Hanley Frank

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?