Microsoft acquires GitHub: All-in on Open Source

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella is making his second big acquisition with GitHub for $7.5 billion. Read on to learn the why this happened and how this might impact you.

Microsoft acquires GitHub: All-in on Open Source


GitHub is the largest code repository in the world, hosting upward of 85 million repositories while supporting more than 28 million developers. Despite this, GitHub has never turned over a profit. This might lead some to wonder: Why would Microsoft purchase such an expensive organization?

Microsoft wants the data

GitHub is a massive source of data currently consisting of code, documentation, issue tracking, downloads, social networking, and more. Microsoft’s acquisition aligns with the need to continually mine information to better understand their current and future customers.

The growth of information provided by this acquisition alone is enough to justify the cost. Some are even speculating that Microsoft’s source code and project management software, Team Foundation Server (TFS), will either integrate tightly with the GitHub enterprise feature set or both products will eventually merge together.

Microsoft has appointed Nat Friedman (former founder of Xamarin) as CEO to lead GitHub while continually reporting to Microsoft’s Cloud and AI chief Scott Guthrie. This move likely signifies future integration between GitHub and Microsoft’s cloud platform Azure. From an engineering and business perspective, this integration is pretty exciting – especially given that no other cloud competitors (like AWS) currently provide any kind of similar offering. As time goes on, Microsoft is becoming more developer-centric, and this transition will likely assist in making any future development in the Microsoft ecosystem even more cohesive.

Developers are concerned

Some developers are concerned about other changes Microsoft will make and how their data will be used.

“GitHub will retain its developer-first ethos and will operate independently to provide an open platform for all developers in all industries,” a Microsoft spokesperson told TechCrunch.

However, many developers are already looking to migrate to alternative competing platforms Atlassian Bitbucket and GitLab.

Microsoft knows it needs to exercise caution when handling the acquisition. Nadella said, “Most importantly, we recognize the responsibility we take on with this agreement… we are committed to being stewards of the GitHub community, which will retain its developer-first ethos, operate independently and remain an open platform. We will always listen to developer feedback and invest in both fundamentals and new capabilities.”

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