Microsoft ♥ Xamarin!

Today saw a very happy announcement in the technology world, in which I have a particular personal interest.

Nat Friedman, CEO of Xamarin, announced that Xamarin and Microsoft love each other and are engaged to be married.   They want to make babies together.   They will be very beautiful babies.    Baby monkeys.

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Xamarin are a fantastic company, and their founders are gems.   I am just delighted for them.    I was lucky enough to attend their first conference – Evolve 2013, in Austin, TX, and to spend quality time with many of Xamarin Massive.   At that stage I was experimenting with Mono as a foundational technology for future EA Sports titles.

Mono is a fantastic enabling technology, which has spanned Linux Desktop to Windows to Mac to Consoles to Mobile.   It is the foundation of Unity3D, far and away the most successful game development technology in existence.    Mono and Xamarin’s success will have been a huge factor leading to the open-sourcing of .NET Core.

I spent several months in 2014 on MonoTizen and Mono for Sailfish, and the opportunity to work on Unity3D titles using Mono was one of the reasons why I left EA after 15 years.

Microsoft have had a sea-change in their culture in the last few years (see Scott Hanselman’s fantastic Microsoft Killed My Pappy for more on that).   Huge credit for that has to go to Microsoft insiders who have been pulling on the steering wheel from within, but we should also not forget individuals like those leading Xamarin, who have plotted a path for near 15 years, which has led to Microsoft coming to the conclusion that they wanted to travel in exactly the same direction too!

It is not clear exactly what this marriage will mean in the short term, but I am sure that we are going to love the outcomes.

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