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 newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Microsoft

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

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?