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Xamarin 2.0 lets you develop Android and iOS apps in Visual Studio

Companies can create software in either C# or Visual Basic and translate it into native Android or iOS, with the new version 2.0 of Xamarin's multi-platform development kit.

The idea is to allow developers to create a consistent experience across multiple platforms without having to write each version of an app individually. An app could be created in C# and then simply transposed into, say, Android, obviating the need to write it in Java.

[MORE MICROSOFT CROSS-PLATFORM NEWS: Microsoft shows off iPhone, iPad and Android clients, voice calls between Lync server and Skype]

CEO and co-founder Nat Friedman said in a statement that the value of this type of translation could not be overemphasized.

"In the very near future, every business process and customer relationship will have a mobile element," he said.

Xamarin has also released a component store, which the company describes as an "app store for code." This would be a source for third-party libraries, UI designs, and other assorted programming parts, further simplifying the task facing enterprise developers.

While Xamarin's far from the only game in town, as far as this type of mobile app development platform goes, Gartner research director Song Chuang told Network World that the focus on C# and Visual Basic environments puts the company in a strong position.

"This really appeals to companies that are big Microsoft shops and have lots of developers with .Net expertise. Xamarin is the only solution I know that does this, and there are many customer environments that are skewed this way," he said in an email.

Xamarin 2.0 is available as of today, on a per seat/per platform annual fee basis. Licensing options range from a free starter edition, which imposes limits on app size, to a $1,900 enterprise package that includes extensive support features.

Email Jon Gold at jgold@nww.com and follow him on Twitter at @NWWJonGold.

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More about: Gartner, Microsoft, Skype
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