Microsoft has announced a new set of tools that can help Windows users to develop cross-platform applications for desktop and mobile alike, with minimal porting effort to get those applications onto multiple platforms. The core of the push for cross-platform development support is a number of enhancements to the cross-platform initiatives introduced in .NET 2.0 that will allow the same codebase to be used across multiple ecosystems thanks to tweaks in the interpreter and compiler. The second biggest part of this is a new way of handling XAML that integrates with the already cross-platform .NET standard, called XAML Standard 1.0. They also debuted a new iOS development tool called the Xamarin Live Player.
This move toward embracing cross-platform developers on Windows is exciting indeed; developers no longer need to fiddle with dual-booting Linux or buy a Mac in order to develop seamless cross-platform apps, meaning that it will be easier for just about anybody to jump into mobile development and put their apps out there. Microsoft's attitude toward development and developer advocacy outside of the Windows space has undergone a number of drastic shifts since CEO Satya Nadella took office. The computing giant has not only embraced Linux by allowing the embedding of a Bash shell and Linux core into Windows 10, but has even joined the Linux Foundation. Microsoft has also been hard at work bringing some of their best tools and apps to other platforms, such as ports of Cortana and Microsoft Translate for Android.