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Microsoft shells out the pucks for analytics firm HockeyApp

For all apps ... except Windows

HockeyApp + Microsoft logos

Microsoft has acquired HockeyApp, a service for testing and analysing apps in development for iOS, Android, Windows Phone and Mac OS, for an undisclosed amount.

The Stuttgart-based team launched HockeyApp in 2011. Using the service, developers can deploy preview apps to testers, get feedback, analyse crash reports, and view analytics about how an app is being used and on which devices. The HockeyApp SDKs (Software Development Kits) are open source.

HockeyApp joins Microsoft

HockeyApp also has an enterprise service supporting distribution of in-house applications and tracking bugs and crashes.

Why the acquisition? Microsoft’s Soma Somasegar says the company plans to integrate it into Application Insights, one of the tools in Visual Studio Online.

Application Insights monitors web applications, reports on usage, alerts developers to problems, and offers reports on performance. In conjunction with HockeyApp, the service could be extended to support mobile apps.

“In the coming months, we will introduce new iOS and Android SDKs for Application Insights based on the features of HockeyApp,” says Somasegar.

He adds that existing HockeyApp users will not be affected, and that the service remains open to new and existing customers.

The acquisition is an indicator of Microsoft’s determination to become a cross-platform software company. Microsoft was apparently a customer of HockeyApp from its earliest days. Note that the service does not currently support Windows apps, other than Windows Phone. HockeyApp’s cloud services appear to be built on Amazon Web Services rather than Microsoft’s Azure platform.

The big question though: why is it called HockeyApp? Here is the scoop:

Our product started as an open-source project named Hockey which allowed you to install iOS beta apps on your iPhone. Apple calls this installation process (outside the App Store) ad hoc distribution. The name Hockey was a word play on the Hoc in ad hoc distribution and the word key. When we launched the HockeyApp, the open-source project had already gained traction in the community, so we kept the name and added App at the end.

So now you know.®

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