Microsoft Corp. said it agreed to buy startup Xamarin in the tech giant’s latest move to attract more software engineers to write programs using its cloud services.

Integrating Xamarin into Microsoft’s Visual Studio will improve developers’ ability to build mobile applications across Apple Inc.’s iOS, Google’s Android and Microsoft’s Windows by making it easier to share code among the different operating systems, Scott Guthrie, Microsoft’s executive vice president of cloud and enterprise, wrote Wednesday in a blog post. The terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.


Special Report: Mobile World Congress 2016

View our full coverage of this year's Mobile World Congress.


Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s chief executive officer, has been working to bolster the company’s mobile capabilities as part of a broader push to sell more cloud services to reinvigorate growth. He has been focused on adding tools that would allow developers to build apps for multiple platforms. That way, Microsoft can sell its cloud services to programmers who aren’t just building for its Windows operating system and better compete with the likes of Amazon.com Inc.

“The combination of Xamarin, Visual Studio, Visual Studio Team Services, and Azure provides a complete mobile app dev solution that provides everything you need to develop, test, deliver and instrument mobile apps for every device,” Guthrie said.

The partnership between San Francisco-based Xamarin, founded in 2011, and Microsoft goes back several years: some of Xamarin’s technology has already been integrated into many of Microsoft’s services, Guthrie said. The tech giant considered an acquisition or investment in Xamarin in 2014, people with knowledge of the issue said at the time.

Xamarin has more than 15,000 customers and more than 1.3 million developers using the products, Guthrie said. Some of its clients include JetBlue Airways Corp., Honeywell International Inc. and SuperGiant Games.