Image source: Xamarin.

What happened?
Software giant Microsoft (MSFT -0.18%) has announced that it has agreed to acquire Xamarin, a platform provider for mobile app development. The smaller company builds tools that allow developers to create fully native mobile apps across device categories and platforms, and Xamarin will be integrated within Microsoft Visual Studio.

Microsoft and Xamarin have long been partners, and this deal takes the relationship to the next level and will bolster Microsoft's already strong suite of development tools. No financial details were disclosed. Xamarin said it currently generates "tens of millions of dollars in annual revenue."

Does it matter?
At last count, Xamarin had over 15,000 customers in 120 countries and over 1.3 million developers have used its tools. The deeper level of integration will make development tools even better, and now Xamarin will have access to greater developmental resources thanks to Microsoft's deep pockets.

Microsoft continues to execute on CEO Satya Nadella's "cloud-first, mobile-first" vision, and Xamarin fits within that broader strategy as it targets cross-platform development. Microsoft has been increasingly open-minded under Satya Nadella, realizing that the company can still succeed even without meaningful share in certain mobile markets like smartphones.

The deal is expected to close soon and Xamarin will provide additional detail regarding future plans at Microsoft's Build developer conference next month.