Microsoft acquires HockeyApp - not what you think it is

The acquisition team at Microsoft have made known their purchase of HockeyApp, a group that creates a testing grounds for apps. Mobile developers are able to launch HockeyApp in iOS, Android, or Windows Phone then launch their app, testing out its flaws in the process. Microsoft will be taking HockeyApp as it exists today offline, integrating this simple system into Visual Studio, their suite of tools for development of content for all manner of devices, mobile or otherwise. Financial terms have not been discussed.

The team in Stuttgart, Germany have created a system that includes three features – these three features being the bits Microsoft is keen to state this afternoon in their acquisition rundown.

• Crash Reporting

• Distribution and Feedback

• Cross-Platform Support

The reason HockeyApp exists is to find flaws in apps that are headed to full release. With this system, developers are able to see when their apps crash and why. HockeyApp also includes a Beta Distribution system, allowing developers to send their app out to early adopters to get feedback before final release.

Of particular interest is the fact that Microsoft has been using HockeyApp's services as a customer since all the way back in the year 2011. Microsoft developers – not just 3rd-party groups – were using HockeyApp to test their apps for iOS, Android, and Windows.

How they didn't acquire the company long ago isn't entirely clear. What is clear is that this purchase is going to do great things for developers working with Microsoft systems in the near future.

Microsoft suggests that "in the coming months" they'll be introducing new SDKs for Application Insights on Android and iOS, these releases including features based on HockeyApp. It's not yet clear when the Windows Phone update will arrive.