Microsoft has finally hit the nail squarely in a much rumoured deal of acquiring GitHub.
Though the talks for the acquisition has been on and off for while according to rumours from unnamed persons close to the companies. Finally the rumours have been put to rest as it announced on June 4 that it is acquiring GitHub for the sum of $7.5 billion – in stock options though.
GitHub is a very popular code hosting and development platform where majority of of software projects – open source (a large chunk of it) and private.
Microsoft, in the last couple of years, since the the arrival of its opensource-friendly CEO Satya Nadella, have been getting more involved in open source. In an effort to show love for open-source which it has not been known for. In fact, in the past Microsoft has been a very critical and antagonistic towards free and open-source software.
Microsoft has also been a very active user of GitHub at present it is the number one contributor. A large number of Microsoft have also been actively pushing code to the code repository.
Microsoft in 2017, moved to using git as its version control system for developing its main product – the windows operating system. So it makes a lot of sense to see that Microsoft would want to get more involved with GitHub.
My personal take is that, this is more of a business deal for Microsoft survival and relevance than an anti-opensource strategy as many in the open-source community has posited.
Microsoft has come to realised that the open-source model of software development have come to stay and many organizations have been embracing it openly – for survival and relevance. Microsoft ignoring this would mean ignoring a large chunk of the market it can service. To survive there is a dying need for Microsoft to bring its products to a larger audience. Acquiring GitHub would no doubt serve as a way of getting developers strategically close to their very “hot” cloud-based AZURE platform, which of course built around the most popular open-source software, Linux.
But many in the open source community have taken the deal with a pinch of salt. Still many see Microsoft as the vicious villain it once was especially when it comes to free and open-source – once a devil, always a devil kind of.
This has led to frenzy where many developers are considering moving to alternative git code hosting services (repositories) like GitLab and Bitbucket.
Is this another of many recent move by Microsoft to strengthen their professed love for open source? Please let us know what you think about the acquisition in the comment section below.