Microsoft Announces Xamarin Will Be Included Free With Visual Studio, And Open Sourceby Brett Howse on March 31, 2016 11:59 AM EST
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.