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Company News : Xamarin Acquired by Microsoft
on 2016/2/25 1:29:24 (1107 reads)
Company News

Microsoft Corp. has agreed to acquire Xamarin Inc., a four-year-old San Francisco maker of software development tools, extending the software giant's reach deeper into devices that don't run its Windows operating system. Xamarin, which sells tools to help developers who use Microsoft products build apps for Apple Inc.'s iOS and Google's Android mobile operating systems, has raised $82 million in three funding rounds.

Microsoft has struggled to establish a position in the mobile arena. Its own Windows Phone operating system held just 1.1% of the global smartphone market in the fourth quarter of 2015, according to market research firm Gartner Inc. The Xamarin acquisition gives Microsoft a stronger presence on devices beyond those that run Windows, including mobile devices, a crucial goal as Microsoft Chief Executive Satya Nadella tries to enhance the company's relevance to developers who have largely turned their attention to mobile platforms from Apple and Google, a division of Alphabet Inc. Xamarin lets the vast army of developers who have learned to build software using Microsoft's C# programming language the ability tap into these rapidly growing mobile markets.

"We want to make sure our Microsoft products work with all of them in a rich way," said Scott Guthrie, executive vice president of Microsoft Cloud and Enterprise Group. Under Mr. Nadella, Microsoft has rolled out Office productivity applications that run on Apple's iPhones and iPads. And it has partnered with one-time foe Red Hat Inc. to make Red Hat's version of the Linux operating system available to users of the Microsoft Azure cloud computing service. Mr. Guthrie said the Xamarin deal is another step in the "new openness that we've been driving toward."

Xamarin has been a marquee partner for Microsoft for most of its existence, often showcasing its technology at Microsoft's developer conferences. That partnership has helped Xamarin pick up more than 15,000 customers in 120 countries, including Alaska Airlines Inc., Coca-Cola Bottling Co. and JetBlue Airways Corp. Microsoft intends to retain Xamarin's branding and continue to employ all of its 350 workers, including co-founders Nat Friedman and Miguel de Icaza.

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