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What the Xamarin Acquisition Means for Microsoft

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Mar. 2 2016, Published 6:51 a.m. ET

Microsoft buys cross-platform mobile application developer

On February 24, 2016, Microsoft (MSFT) announced its intention to acquire Xamarin, a mobile app development platform provider. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed. However, according to The Wall Street Journal, the Xamarin acquisition has cost Microsoft approximately $400 million–$500 million, though Microsoft has not yet confirmed this.

Xamarin provides software tools to build mobile apps on Apple’s (AAPL) iOS, Google’s (GOOG) Android, and Microsoft’s Windows platforms using C# programming language. For apps that support various languages, Xamarin also provides a cloud-based test platform, so that developers can check how an app will perform on different smartphones or tablets.

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Xamarin has more than 15,000 customers

According to Scott Guthrie, Microsoft’s Cloud and Enterprise Division Chief, “The combination of Xamarin, Visual Studio, Visual Studio Team Services, and Azure delivers a complete mobile app dev solution that provides everything a developer needs to develop, test, deliver, and instrument mobile apps for every device.”

Xamarin has more than 15,000 customers. Apart from Microsoft, Xamarin’s customers include Honeywell International (HON), Kellogg (K), Flipboard, Thermo Fisher Scientific (TMO), and NBCUniversal. According to CrunchBase, Xamarin has so far secured $82 million in venture capital funding from investors.

You might consider investing in the PowerShares QQQ Trust Series 1 ETF (QQQ) to gain exposure to Microsoft, which makes up 8.4% of QQQ. Investors who would like application software exposure can also consider this ETF. Application software makes up ~28.4% of QQQ.

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