Microsoft Buys Xamarin To Help Devs Port Apps To Windows 10, Kills Off Project Astoria

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Xamarain cross-platform tools hope to make Android porting easier, but Microsoft explains clashes with iOS ‘Bridge’ programme mean its curtains for Project Astoria

Microsoft has acquired cross-platform mobile app specialist Xamarin as it seeks to bring more applications to Windows 10, but this come at the expense of its much-trumpeted ‘Project Astoria’ tool, which promised to make it easy for Android developers to port software for Microsoft’s operating system.

Xamarin’s tools allow developers to easily share common app code across their iOS, Android and Windows apps while still delivering fully native experiences for each of the platforms.

The two companies have worked together in the past, as Microsoft built Xamarin integration into programs including Visual Studio, Microsoft Azure, Office 365 and its Enterprise Mobility Suite.

Building Bridges

azure“Enabling developers to bring and re-use some of their existing code to Windows 10 is part of our longer-term vision for developers, where we want to make Windows the best development platform regardless of technologies used,” Microsoft’s Kevin Gallo wrote in a blog post.
The acquisition of Xamarin has not been all good news, however, as the deal spells the end for another Microsoft program for getting Android apps on to Windows 10 devices.

Project Astoria was first announced at Microsoft’s Build conference last year as one of the company’s ‘Bridges’ aimed at increasing the number of popular mobile applications on Windows.

Microsoft says that Astoria unfortunately fell victim to clashes with the Microsoft Bridge for iOS project, leading to “unnecessary” and “confusing” occurrences.

“We have carefully considered this feedback and decided that we would focus our efforts on the Windows Bridge for iOS and make it the single Bridge option for bringing mobile code to all Windows 10 devices, including Xbox and PCs.”

Microsoft says that developers should now look to migrate their work over to Xamarin, more details on which will be revealed at Microsoft’s Build conference next month.

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Author: Mike Moore
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