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10.23.15

With New Xamarin Buyout, Microsoft Now a Step Further in Embrace, Extend, Extinguish Strategy Against Android

Posted in Google, Microsoft, Mono at 9:06 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Android and Microsoft

Image from Android Beat

Summary: Our interpretation of the Xamarin-RoboVM news, especially in light of reports that Microsoft is trying to fork (wrest control of) Android

SOMETHING disappointing but nonetheless expected is happening these days. More and more media reports about Microsoft's intrusive and subversive strategy against Android (see [1] below for the latest on it) serve to suggest that our concerns are becoming ever more justified. There are many articles alluding to “forking” of Android by Microsoft (for example, “Is Microsoft Creating Its Own Android Fork?”). This is a subject that we wrote nearly a dozen articles about (especially during summer when Microsoft partnered with Cyanogen), but what about Xamarin? Half a decade ago we used to write many articles about Mono’s assault on Android (trying to shove .NET down this bot’s throat). With its strong Java roots (Oracle’s fury notwithstanding), hence the popularisation of Microsoft’s and .NET’s archenemy, Java (or Google’s derived APIs that upset Oracle so much), Android must be a real pain and an existential danger to the Microsoft monoculture.

“…Java, which sort of runs on Android in the form of Dalvik (on top of Linux), will be more tightly controlled by a company connected to Microsoft.”Miguel de Icaza‘s Xamarin, which is partly funded by Microsoft veterans and now strives to spread .NET in the form of Mono to Android (the world’s most dominant operating system at the moment), has reportedly bought RoboVM. As Phoronix put it the other day:

RoboVM specializes in creating native iOS apps within Java as a way to share apps/projects between iOS and Android while having a native user experience and performance. Xamarin has bought out RoboVM to better position themselves as a cross-platform mobile development company for C# and Java, per today’s press release. RoboVM is basically to Java for mobile as Xamarin is to C# with Mono.

In other words, Java, which sort of runs on Android in the form of Dalvik (on top of Linux), will be more tightly controlled by a company connected to Microsoft. “Embrace, Extend, Extinguish” springs to mind. How will the frameworks be bridged? Either way, this gives Microsoft a lot more leverage over Android.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Is Microsoft Creating Its Own Android Fork? Signs Point To Satya Nadella’s Plan B

    Microsoft chief experience officer Julie Larson Green recently made a statement that got some people thinking that the company, once known as a hulking titan that likes to crush out the competition instead of working with them as partners, is looking to develop its own version of Android. Although Green did not exactly share details of Microsoft’s plans, she did not categorically deny it either.

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