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All posts tagged Xamarin

The Microsoft GitHub Acquisition Is Official …

The Microsoft GitHub purchase is happening. The story leaked before the weekend onto the interwebs and by Monday June 5th, Microsoft and GitHub came clean with their official announcements.

The real loser in all this strangely enough was Apple whose annual WWDC event was fighting for attention online against the pro and anti-acquisition groups. GitHub and their competitor GitLab are more than just collaborative source control. Both have been adding features over the last few years including issue tracking, stories and other features evolving these tools into ALM solutions.

Why would anyone be against Microsoft acquiring GitHub?

After asking this question online, the only coherent, meaningful or logical argument I got was nothing to do with Microsoft and everything to do with any tech giant acquiring one of the most popular collaborative source-code tools on the market. To be fair, no-one should be surprised by this:

Microsoft GitHub - Reasons to be happy

Microsoft had been heavily invested in Git for several years, making it a fundamental option for working in Visual Studio. Meanwhile, everything about the Microsoft GitHub purchase is about mutual benefit but more importantly, increasing value for the Developer Community.

The two other reasons I got out of developers, startup founders, Devops and other were: –

  1. It’s Microsoft. I don’t trust them.
  2. Look at the acquisitions Microsoft ruined.

The counter argument to these were simple; what’s not to trust. Since Satya Nadella took over Microsoft, the company has radically changed. Look at the acquisitions since Satya Nadella took over as CEO. These companies have flourished and grown as part of Microsoft and so have their products e.g. LinkedIn.

If you really want to deep dive the reasons why Microsoft is a totally different company and its context vis a vis GitHub then you can check my video on it:

On the one hand, those against the acquisition are really stuck in the past. On the other, it’s a free market and you can vote with your feet. Tamir Gefen, CEO of ALMToolbox pointed out that this has happened with a major migration to competitor GitLab, who haven’t been shy about pushing how and why you can make the jump. He points to live online graphs of a large upturn in migration onto GitLab from their Grafana:

The graphs show migrations but don’t show some important metrics like: size of repositories, number of accounts moved and from what price bracket these migrations occurred. If the bulk of these are individual developers or people who opted for free accounts then the impact to GitHub will be marginal, other than the bandwidth and API calls being used in these migrations.

The Warptest POV

The Microsoft GitHub acquisition serves to highlight the strategy of Satya Nadella’s Microsoft. This is a break away from the Ballmer era. Microsoft is the biggest Open Source contributor in the world today (including projects like GIT VFS). Microsoft contributes to many projects like Electron and you only really need look at the Microsoft GitHub account to understand the scale of investment in developer hours that led to this purchase being a logical step.

Microsoft’s own online user documentation is held on GitHub repositories. Meanwhile Redmond continues to build more cross-platform apps for mobile than anyone else. They can do this because Visual Studio supports development in most, if not all platforms. Which lead us to other successful acquisitions that were logical steps to bring us this place;the purchase of Xamarin and HockeyApp.

Xamarin has flourished with Microsoft and their former CEO, Nat Friedman will takeover running GitHub following the purchase. HockeyApp has been rebranded and rebuilt by Microsoft as Visual Studio App Center.

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Microsoft is fully aware that they need to earn our trust, even if the days of Vista are over. BUILD 2017 and 2018 showed us that Satya Nadella has placed the Developer Community, in its entirety front and center. Microsoft is a company that listens and continues to innovate, by purchasing companies and technologies that add value for their employees and end users. GitHub was also in talks with Google but at the end of the day opted to move forward with Microsoft.

For what it’s worth. if you don’t have to jump ship from GitHub, then my advice is to be patient and you will see why Microsoft and Satya Nadella have already earned our trust.

One final thought, if Microsoft now has Xamarin, HockeyApp and GitHub. What impact is this going to have on Visual Studio TFS in the future?

Microsoft GitHub - Keep Calm

Whatever happens. Keep calm and carry on Git Pushing.

BUILD2018 Begins Today

BUILD2018 is upon us, what can we expect? BUILD is the annual Microsoft Developer Conference and whilst in past years, we have seen a lot of end-user oriented announcements in addition to the slew of  amazing APIs, SDKs, apps and improvements to existing Dev platforms, rumors expect BUILD2018 to be strongly developer oriented.

So what are expectations and predictions?

Anticipate a strong keynote by Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella. He will no doubt highlight and reinforce the progress in realizing his vision for Microsoft. So far, this journey has delivered major increases in stock price, high customer satisfaction in consumer and business verticals and made Nadella one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential in 2018.

In the wake of this success and the public debate following Facebook / Cambridge Analytica we can probably expect more in the keynote on developer responsibility for technology impact. No doubt we will also see presentations on social good thru technology and innovation, building on the success of Project Emma from BUILD2017:

WINDOWS 10: Whilst Microsoft has made it abundantly clear that cloud not desktop is the present and future focus, we are certainly going to hear about the outstanding Windows 10 Spring Creators Update that rolled out last week.

Expect to hear roll out metrics, major feature improvements and where we can expect Windows 10 to go from here. Expect to hear about Fluent Design, the new app UI. Which features of the OS have it, and which major apps are implementing it. Of course, it being BUILD2018 Developers should anticipate that Fluent Design, Universal Windows Apps & the Windows Store will all receive a strong developer focus. Microsoft is going to want you to build your apps with Fluent Design so be ready.

We can also expect to see Cortana mentioned, now not just on Windows 10 but fully cross-platform on mobile. I predict new devices, more app integrations (and integration tools), more services and a possible announcement of a changed UI / UX for Cortana coming soon. This is one more example of Microsoft continuing to build on their Windows on Mobile strategy.

OFFICE 2019: I predict a firm release date an even a demonstration of new version of Office at BUILD2018. If so, we can expect a focus on inking, more real-time collaboration and customization. In addition, the Microsoft Graph for Windows and Office will gain increased abilities. The star features will almost certainly be Slack killer, Microsoft Teams and improvements to the Office web apps.

Popular and growing services like IOT, BOTS, AI and Microsoft’s Cognitive Services should expect mention with improved SDKs and expanded abilities. Watch these demos because the Cognitive Services will blow your socks off.

Center stage will be Azure, Satya Nadella’s baby that effectively catapulted him into the CEO seat at Redmond. We anticipate continued expansion on services, partnerships and other improvements. This is where we expect to hear more about Containers and much on DevOps in Azure.

The big Azure question is, will we finally receive an Azure Serverless competitor for Google Firebase? Come on Microsoft, Azure Functions hasn’t gained the traction that Firebase has and there is a huge opening here with all the issues Firebase has cross-platform. BUILD2018 is a huge chance for Microsoft to onboard every last developer attending the conference or watching the livestream onto a robust, easy to integrate, serverless solution.

The other big money maker is Xbox.  What developer offerings will we see? Tough to speculate but expect a mention of the ongoing success of Xbox.

MIXED REALITY (XR): There is a chance we will hear something definitive about HOLOLENS 2, even if this is just a teaser. Expect more of a focus on OEM Windows 10 VR headsets and a presentation by Unity of what’s coming for Microsoft Mixed Reality.

Obviously, both Visual Studio and SQL will be getting a lot of attention in terms of new versions, new features and new integrations for all the platforms mentioned. Expect more improvements to cross-platform development on Xamarin.

I expect that we will get a hard launch date if not the launch of Visual Studio App Center, the replacement for HockeyApp which until now has been in Beta with several major features not implemented. BUILD2018 is the ideal opportunity to launch this to release and demo the full set of features here for “continuous everything – Build, test, deploy, engage, repeat …”

BUILD2018 - Visual Studio App Center 1

BUILD2018 - Visual Studio App Center 2

In short, this conference is going to deliver more excitement to the developers who work on these platforms. What’s missing from all this?

The Warptest POV

While I would like to bet that Microsoft are going to announce new hardware or new versions of existing hardware under the Surface brand, I’m not feeling it. I hope but don’t expect an announcement about any Surface Mobile device. Even with all the rumors of Andromeda, a folding ARM tablet/ phone that can run full Windows 10, it’s hard to believe that Microsoft are ready to drop this bombshell this week. This was the Warptest POV on Microsoft and their future in mobility.

The big announcements will be certainly Azure and Visual Studio focused but expect Progressive Web Apps to be mentioned more than once in the context of UWP. We can certainly expect more announcements focusing on open sourcing of development related technologies.

If I had to sum up my predictions, it would be that Microsoft are going to demonstrate a strong investment in building an even better Developer Community. Everything about BUILD2018 is going to be about driving more developers to invest in creating apps for the Windows and Office Stores but also to continue to force the competition to innovate at the same pace as Microsoft has been doing over the last few years.

Above is my latest video where I speak about all this. What do you expect or predict to hear this week?