Xamarin is Open Source Now; Available Free for Visual Studio

Xamarin, the third party .NET app development platform for Visual Studio announced as the open-source platform which now will be available for free for Visual Studio. Microsoft has acquired this company recently to bring better and flexible development options for the .NET developers.

Xamarin provides the rich mobile development offering that enables developers to build mobile apps using the C# technology to deliver the native mobile app experience on major devices like Android, iOS and Windows Phone. This development add on for Visual Studio had been released as a commercial version by the company before merging into Microsoft. After signing the acquiring contract, Microsoft announced this leading mobile development platform as open source for the commercial license holders of .NET development environment, Visual Studio.

Xamarin has 15,000 customers in 120 countries which includes 500 fortune companies and 1.3 individual developers who have taken advantage of this offering.

Microsoft has longstanding partnership with Xamarin in building the integration with Visual Studio, Microsoft Azure, Office 365 and Enterprise Mobile Suite to provide developers with an end-to-end workflow for native, secure, app cross platforms.

In this regard, Nat Friedman of Xamarin writes in their blog about making Xamarin an open source.

On March 18th, 2016, Microsoft’s acquisition of Xamarin officially closed. 
We love C# and we want every developer to be able to take advantage of the power of .NET in every app, on every device. Being part of Microsoft makes it possible for us to do some incredible things, and today we are announcing several big changes to the way we ship our products.  -Nat Friedman

With this announcement, Xamarin will be included in every edition of Visual Studio including free developers edition. With this integrated, an average .NET developer can develop native apps using C# and F# technologies for Android, iOS along with Windows without any app size restrictions.

“So we are announcing today that we have contributed the Mono Project to the .NET Foundation, including some previously-proprietary mobile-specific improvements to the Mono runtime. Mono will also be re-released under the MIT License, to enable an even broader set of uses for everyone. In addition, to help clarify users’ rights to Mono under Microsoft patents, Microsoft has issued a broad patent promise for Mono. Miguel has posted more details to the Mono Project blog.

These changes to Mono remove all barriers to adopting a modern, performant .NET runtime in any software product, embedded device, or game engine, and open the door to easily integrate C# with apps and games on iOS, Android, Mac, and Windows, as well as PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and any emerging platforms developers want to target in the future

But wait, there’s more!

In addition to these important steps, we are announcing today our commitment to open source the Xamarin SDKs for Android, iOS, and Mac under the MIT license in the coming months. This includes native API bindings and the basic command-line tools necessary to develop mobile apps. It also includes our popular cross-platform native UI toolkit, Xamarin.Forms.

With these changes, .NET is now open source and native on every single device, from mobile to desktop to cloud. This is a proud moment for all of us who have invested years into making .NET the best platform, and we know that this change will make it even easier for developers to invest their own time into building great software in C#.

We look forward to building a true open-source community around Xamarin, and eagerly await the first pull requests.” Nat Friedman adds in the Xamarin blog post.

The bottom line of this business activity is that the .NET developer can now develop Android and iOS apps in Visual Studio. What are you waiting for? Give your ideas a shape.

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