It turns out the rumour over the weekend was true, Microsoft did in fact spend $7.5 billion to acquire GitHub. GitHub is the largest open source code repository implementing the open git standard. Being an open standard means moving your code off of GitHub is easy to do, so Microsoft needs to keep customers through good service going forward. Both GitHub and Microsoft have released statements about the acquisition:
We both believe that software development needs to become easier, more accessible, more intelligent, and more open, so more people can become developers and existing developers can spend more time focusing on the unique problems they’re trying to solve.
We both see the growing need for developers and the growing importance of software in all facets of our lives.
And, most importantly, we both believe we can do greater things together than alone. Collaboration, after all, is at the heart of everything we do.
First, we 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.
Second, we will accelerate enterprise developers’ use of GitHub, with our direct sales and partner channels and access to Microsoft’s global cloud infrastructure and services.
Finally, we will bring Microsoft’s developer tools and services to new audiences.
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.
It will be interesting to see how this turns out. I see little reason to be afraid of this acquisition as Microsoft doesn’t have a competing product in this sector, having shut down CodePlex last year. Now as a stand alone unit under Microsoft, Github should hopefully be extremely well funded going forward.