Microsoft Corp. on Monday announced it has reached an agreement to acquire GitHub, the world's leading software development platform where more than 28 million developers learn, share and collaborate to create the future.
This is not the first time that talks of Microsoft taking over GitHub has emerged, as on-and-off conversations regarding acquisition have been happening over the years.
GitHub preferred selling the company to going public and chose Microsoft partially because it was impressed by Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified discussing private information. One of them, LinkedIn, might be another area where Microsoft might explore synergies, specifically around areas like recruitment and online tutorials and education. Gaining access to millions of developers and projects is a positive, but only if they continue using the service. Bloomberg also reports that GitHub has been bleeding money in recent years, citing three quarters of 2016, so maybe it wouldn't have lasted much longer to begin with.
We'll see if the "new" Microsoft can win over the critics, the way it's largely done with its Mojang acquisition.
After reports of a likely deal between Microsoft and GitHub emerged on Sunday, some users of the software development platform raised doubts on social network Reddit here that GitHub would "eventually favor Microsoft products over competing alternatives".
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Chris Wanstrath, who has been caretaker CEO will become a Microsoft Technical Fellow. Those projects have typically used open-source software development techniques while keeping some code proprietary. Knowing GitHub's position with developers, Microsoft has also leaned on the service quite a bit itself, too and some in the company already claim it is the biggest contributor to GitHub today.
GitHub hosts around 27 million coders working on almost 85 million repositories of code.
The all-stock deal is expected to close by the end of 2018.
Given Microsoft's size, history and reputation as a rapacious software conglomerate, many in the open source software community did not welcome the news. There are even rumors that Microsoft's core operating platform, Windows, may become open-source. A partnership would give Microsoft another connection point to the developers to build applications on its various platforms, including the Azure cloud.
More than 28 million developers already collaborate on GitHub, and it is home to more than 85 million code repositories used by people in almost every country. But Visual Studio, Visual Studio Code, and other Microsoft developer offerings will no be tailored to work natively with the service.