Xamarin + Microsoft


Today it was announced that Microsoft is acquiring Xamarin. I’m well on the record as having some mixed feelings about the Xamarin platform. Details are still pretty few and far between about the structure of the deal (other than the obvious fact that it’s a straight acquisition) or what Microsoft intends to do with the platform once they have control of it. Hopefully, Microsoft can leverage its resources to resolve improve Xamarin’s core weaknesses: pricing and Xamarin Forms.

Far be it for me who has railed that we don’t charge enough for software in general to criticize a company’s pricing structure but Xamarin’s pricing really leaves a bit to be desired. My issue is not with the dollar price per se but with the fact that you can’t code in Visual Studio, a far superior experience to Xamarin Studio, with the Indie license and that fact that LINQ to SQL is only available at the Business tier. It would be much more appropriate for the tiers to be separated only by support and SLA’s rather than actual functionality provided in the tooling.

Xamarin Forms, though it has gotten better since I last looked at it, needs some attention. The truth is that most internal development projects don’t have a focus on the platform specific user experience and managers would love to deploy a write once run everywhere solution.

It’ll be interesting to see how Microsoft takes Xamarin and supports its developers and if you’re interested in getting a mobile development project done, please fill out the form on this page.

  • Alecks Gates

    While LINQ to SQL is useful, as a data guy I’ve looked at the queries it generates and it’s often more harmful than anything else. It’s a leaky abstraction and you pretty much need a DBA for truly-optimized queries anyway. So I would say it’s not really a feature to look for unless you have a DBA who can write C# code — LINQ itself is limited, too, and can’t do everything you need in SQL.

    That’s just my short rant after having to go through Entity Framework “Code First” for the better part of a year. So it might not be as relevant to Xamarin.