Back in February, Microsoft announced it was acquiring Xamarin, the cross-platform toolkit which allows developers to write native apps for iOS, Android, Windows, and Mac, using Visual Studio and C# code. Today during the Build day 2 keynote, Scott Guthrie announced Xamarin will now be included for free with all editions of Visual Studio, and Xamarin will join the rest of .NET in being made open source.

Previously Xamarin was an expensive set of tools, and while powerful, the cost was prohibitive to a lot of developers. By moving the Xamarin tools right into Visual Studio at no cost, Microsoft is making a play to have Visual Studio be a much better platform for coding on all platforms.

Xamarin outputs native apps for the supported platrforms, and as part of the demo, Microsoft showed off a new feature of Visual Studio which is a remote simulator for iOS. Since they can’t emulate iOS directly on Windows like they can with Android, this at least allows you to debug and run apps in real-time without having to switch computers.

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  • WaitingForNehalem - Thursday, March 31, 2016 - link

    This is just awesome! I've used Xamarin before but the subscription fee was just ridiculous. Still need to try out React-Native...
  • lilmoe - Thursday, March 31, 2016 - link

    HELL yes.
  • CSMR - Thursday, March 31, 2016 - link

    I was holding off on Xamarin, waiting for MS to buy it and set reasonable subscription fees. Free is pretty reasonable.
  • cknobman - Thursday, March 31, 2016 - link

    Finally, been wanting to use Xamarin for years but did not have the money to do it.

    Time to try making my Windows Phone app available for Android and iOS!!
  • estarkey7 - Friday, April 1, 2016 - link

    This is the most awesomeness awesome ever! I am soooooo loving Microsoft post Balmer.
  • vayal - Monday, April 4, 2016 - link

    So very true! Me as well - starting to love MS. Satya Nadella seems to be really busy at work.
  • 101chris - Friday, April 1, 2016 - link

    it's about time! still, this is a seriously awesome move for Microsoft. if only i could un-learn android java sdk and ios objective-c, and now just work in windows and c#. sadly about 7 years too late but better than never!
  • doggface - Friday, April 1, 2016 - link

    Amazing. Good move MS. Bringing back the love.
  • ddriver - Friday, April 1, 2016 - link

    That's MS, don't forget that, they will probably ruin it like everything else they acquired.
  • kspirit - Friday, April 1, 2016 - link

    Do you have to bitch about Microsoft in every post?

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