Microsoft Said to Weigh Xamarin Purchase to Expand Mobile Tools

Microsoft Corp. is considering an acquisition or investment in Xamarin Inc., or other companies that enable mobile applications to run on different devices, people with knowledge of the matter said.

The Redmond, Washington-based company is also considering whether to build its own programming tools in the area, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified because the discussions are private. A decision may be made within weeks, said the person.

Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s chief executive officer, is seeking to bolster the company’s mobile capabilities as it explores ways for its software to work with rival operating systems such as Apple Inc.’s iOS and Google Inc.’s Android. Microsoft, lagging in handset market share, is considering ways for Android and iOS apps to run on Windows, and Windows apps to run on other operating systems, said the people.

Xamarin is also currently working on a round of financing, said one of the people.

Peter Wootton, a spokesman for Microsoft, declined to comment. Mina Manchester, a spokeswoman for San Francisco-based Xamarin, didn’t immediately return a call for comment.

Nadella will introduce a version of Microsoft’s Office software for Apple’s iPad at an event in San Francisco on March 27, people with knowledge of the matter have said.

CRN reported yesterday that Microsoft was in the final stages of talks to buy or invest in Xamarin.

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