Microsoft has embraced open source software in a number of ways in recent years. The company has added native support for command-line Linux tools to Windows 10 in an effort to court developers and other GNU/Linux enthusiasts. And, acknowledging that the full Windows kernel might not be the right tool for every situation, Microsoft even released an IoT (Internet of Things) operating system with its own custom Linux kernel earlier this year.

In fact, Microsoft has been one of the top contributors to open source projects hosted on GitHub in recent years.

So maybe it’s not a huge surprise that Microsoft is now planning to acquire GitHub.

GitHub

The company says it plans to pay $7.5 billion to acquire the online platform developers use to host, share, collaborate on, and fork open source software code.

Microsoft says GitHub will operate as an independent company and continue “to provide an open platform for all developers in all industries,” and not just serve as a host for Microsoft projects. But there will be a change in leadership.

GitHub’s CEO Chris Warnstrath will join Microsoft as a “technical fellow,” while Microsoft VP Nat Friedman, who founded Xamarin, will become the new CEO of GitHub.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella says the move will also allow Microsoft to get its developer tools and services in front of new audiences, which suggests that acquiring GitHub is part of an effort not only to support open source… but to get open source developers interested in working on software that works with Microsoft operating systems. He also suggests acquiring GitHub will “accelerate enterprise developers’ use of GitHub, with our direct sales and partner channels and access to Microsoft’s global cloud infrastructure and services.”

Still, the acquisition does seem to be causing some angst among some folks. Microsoft only confirmed the deal this morning, but after Bloomberg first reported on the company’s rumored plan to buy GitHub, rival platform GitLab saw a huge spike in activity, and a bunch of posts at Hacker News have featured pretty active discussions about the move, featuring a range of opinions. Comments at sites specifically targeting Linux users, such as Phoronix, have been more uniformly skeptical of Microsoft’s intentions.

The deal is expected to close later this year.

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6 replies on “Microsoft is buying GitHub for $7.5 billion”

  1. I am going to move my stuff to bitbucket. Not that anyone pulls from it often. Employers would be smart to look at an applicant’s projects that they post online… as they are not able to look at the applicant’s work done for previous companies.

  2. Not sure this will be worth it to Microsoft. How does Microsoft plan on keeping developers from fleeing?
    Sourceforge–>Github–>Gitlab?

    1. Well, userbase still costs something. even if it will dicrease while time being. And it’s not just a userbase, it’s the userbase of the most demanded and paid pros in the world. 7.5 bl / 40 mln github users it’s about $200 per each one, include all their private repos…If we count only active users (7.8mln), it will be as much as $1000 per user. Well, I almost feel how much my head costs (more than 50 repos, I’m in top 15% active devs of the site) to Microsoft.

    2. If the developers leaving Github are not paying anything, then they are doing Microsoft a favor by deleting their repositories and leaving, thus lowering storage operating costs.

      Microsoft Incorporated, being a commercial corporation is motivated by making a profit for its stockholders, so the purpose of acquiring Github is to make money from the revenue generated by paying customers ie primarily corporate customers paying to have private repositories hosted at Github.

      Perhaps those remaining non-paying customers accessing the free repositories will in future be subjected to advertising of Microsoft products and possibly other third party goods and services.

      All the rest of the corporate marketing double talk about supporting open source is pure feel-good propaganda, and the real motiviation as always is “working on software that works with Microsoft operating systems” in order to sell more Microsoft products and services.

      1. Disagree.
        It’s almost like F2P games. Free users (non-paid ones) creates userbase, where donate users feel themselves comfortable.
        If there are will no free users, who will report issues, create forks and PRs backs?
        For organisations there are a lot of paid alternatives, including on premises ones.

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