Microsoft is acquiring GitHub, the largest code repository in the world, for $7.5 billion, in the announcement made on Monday morning. GitHub is a large code repository that has become very popular with developers and companies hosting entire projects, documentation, and code. Apple, Amazon, Google, and many other big tech companies use GitHub. There are 85 million repositories hosted on GitHub, and 28 million developers contribute to them.
In the decade since it was founded, Github has become a cornerstone of the tech world, and one of the most important places on the internet for entities as large as Google and Microsoft and as small as high-school coding projects to document their work and collaborate.
Once the acquisition closes later this year, GitHub will be led by CEO Nat Friedman, an open source veteran and founder of Xamarin, who will continue to report to Microsoft Cloud + AI Group Executive Vice President Scott Guthrie; GitHub CEO and Co-Founder Chris Wanstrath will be a technical fellow at Microsoft, also reporting to Scott. The aim is that they will continue to advance GitHub as a platform loved by developers and trusted by organizations.
While it’s hard to know exactly how GitHub will fit into Microsoft’s business model, Nadella did hint that his company plans to “accelerate enterprise developers’ use of GitHub” by integrating the platform with Azure, Microsoft’s cloud service. It could also use its ownership of GitHub to nudge developers to build apps for Windows, though that would cut against its promises of operating it independently. In the most worrying scenario, Microsoft could use its position to monitor competitors’ projects on Github—and it’s possible that the simple fact of its ownership could scare away some GitHub users for that reason.
Microsoft points out that together with Github three opportunities stand clear ahead;
- They will empower developers at every stage of the development lifecycle – from ideation to collaboration to deployment to the cloud. Going forward, GitHub will remain an open platform, which any developer can plug into and extend. Developers will continue to be able 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.
- They will accelerate enterprise developers’ use of GitHub, with our direct sales and partner channels and access to Microsoft’s global cloud infrastructure and services.
- They will bring Microsoft’s developer tools and services to new audiences.
Microsoft acknowledges the responsibility they have taking on GitHub agreement and they are committed to being stewards of the GitHub community, which will retain its developer-first ethos, operate independently and remain an open platform. They will always listen to developer feedback and invest in both fundamentals and new capabilities to empower developers.