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Microsoft announced the acquisition of Github today in a $7.5 Billion in all stock consideration. The tech industry was rife with the rumors in its corridors about this much-anticipated deal which came to a conclusion today.  

For developers across the globe, GitHub is home. In this era of cutting edge technology, intelligent computing is deeply rooted in all systems we use in our daily lives. Developers are the creators of the digital ecosystem which is rapidly transforming the way we use our products.

The current active users on GitHub amounts to more than 28 million and around 85 million code repositories which is accessed by people in almost all countries. Be it an MNC or startup, the go-to place for developers to work, share and create has been GitHub. Microsoft itself claims to be the most active company on GitHub, with more than 2 Million ‘commits’,  or updates made to projects.

WHAT IT MEANS FOR THE DEVELOPER’S ECOSYSTEM

1. Microsoft promises to empower developers at every stage of the development lifecycle – from ideation to collaboration to deployment to the cloud. Also, GitHub will remain an open platform, which any developer can plug into and extend.
The developer’s community, who has been a part of GitHub will get to use the programming languages, tools and operating systems of their choice for their projects – and will still be able to deploy their code on any cloud and any device.

2. Microsoft will accelerate enterprise developers’ use of GitHub, with their direct sales and partner channels and access to Microsoft’s global cloud infrastructure and services.

3.Very soon, new audiences will also have access to Microsoft’s developer tools and services. The enterprise recognizes the responsibility with this agreement and has committed to being stewards of the GitHub community, which will retain its developer-first ethos, operate independently and remain an open platform. They are eager to always listen to developer feedback and wants to provide for both the legacy systems and newer opportunities.

The integration of VS code and GitHub means developers can flow seamlessly between GitHub and VS without potentially distracting context changes, integrating checkouts, pull request creation and reviewing, branch management and issue management.

Chris Wanstrath (left), Github CEO and co-founder; Nat Friedman, Microsoft corporate vice president, Developer Services; Satya Nadella, Microsoft CEO; and Amy Hood, Microsoft Chief Financial Officer. Image Courtesy: Microsoft Blog

GitHub’s new CEO is Nat Friedman, who was formerly the CEO of Xamarin and an open source developer himself, who will continue to report to Scott Guthrie, Microsoft Cloud + AI Group Executive Vice President. Chris Wanstrath, former CEO and founder of GitHub will be leading the software strategic initiatives as a Microsoft technical fellow. The role allocations also indicates Microsoft’s desire to make GitHub work alike LinkedIn.

Why Acquisition over IPO?

GitHub faced quite some competition from Atlassian’s BitBucket and products like GitLabs, which fundamentally caters to enterprise code management needs. The main revenue channel for GitHub was the paid accounts which started at $7 – $21 per user per month and came with services like private repositories and some more catering to the enterprise requirements. While it boasts of having the largest developers community, it had never turned a profit, which meant that acquisition was more favorable than IPO.

The open-source community although seems divided over the acquisition. Going by Microsoft’s records, it has never been too friendly towards the ecosystem of open-source developers. In fact, some insiders have already started looking for other alternatives for GitHub and are looking at abandoning the platform post the deal. It reminds many of us of an incident that happened 10 years ago. Microsoft tried to suppress LINUX when in 2005, Linus Torvalds was working on the development of the LINUX Kernel, which was in response to the restriction imposed on BitKeeper, which restricted the free use by changing its terms.

However, The Satya Nadella led Microsoft offers to be more friendly towards the open-source community and promises to preserve GitHub’s developers-first vision. Microsoft is also a member of the Linux Foundation and has backed many open-source projects. The .NET core and Visual Studio code. Microsoft’s very own code editing tool has also been opened to the developer community. Windows now have a LINUX subsystem.

Amidst the transition, we predict Microsoft providing a more holistic ecosystem to developers with two leading products, GitHub and Azure, it’s cloud hosting service, which provides a dynamic set of virtual infrastructure to developers. From code to cloud, to cloud to edge, the conglomerate of the services only looks promising.

Image courtesy – https://blogs.microsoft.com/blog/