In, what is being seen as, the biggest software-related announcement in recent weeks, Microsoft revealed Monday that it was going to acquire GitHub, one the world’s foremost open-source code repositories.
GitHub, which was valued at around $2 billion in 2015, is expected to be well worth the whopping $7.5 billion that Microsoft is paying for its acquisition in an all-stock deal.
The merger will provide developers a much bigger platform, empowering them with the best of both worlds to learn, share, and collaborate in the open-source ecosystem.
“Microsoft is a developer-first company, and by joining forces with GitHub we strengthen our commitment to developer freedom, openness and innovation,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said.
“We recognize the community responsibility we take on with this agreement and will do our best work to empower every developer to build, innovate and solve the world’s most pressing challenges.”
If things proceed according to plan, we could well see the acquisition happen by the end of 2018.
It is common knowledge in the world of developers that, in today’s era, companies, big and small, prefer cloud-based services to develop code in a collaborative manner.
According to a Nadella, GitHub currently has some 28 million developers using its platform; and, with more than 85 million code repositories, GitHub is also the world’s largest source-code host, allowing users to share their work “with the world, get feedback, and contribute to millions of repositories.”
GitHub not only has plans for free accounts, it also offers private repositories with additional features and benefits as part of the package.
Under the new deal, GitHub will continue to operate independently, with no change to its developer-first culture of providing an open platform for developers across businesses.
“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,” Nadella wrote in a blog post.
“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,” he said.
“Most importantly, we recognize the responsibility we take on with this agreement. We are committed to being stewards of the GitHub community, Nadella promised.
“We will always listen to developer feedback and invest in both fundamentals and new capabilities.”
Microsoft Corporate Vice President Nat Friedman will replace Chris Wanstrath as GitHub’s chief executive officer, while Wanstrath will “become a Microsoft technical fellow, reporting to Executive Vice President Scott Guthrie, to work on strategic software initiatives.”
The choice of Friedman to lead GitHub appears to be an ideal one when you consider the Xamarin founder’s experience in open-source solutions.
“He will continue to report to Microsoft Cloud + AI Group Executive Vice President Scott Guthrie,” says Nadella.
“I’m extremely proud of what GitHub and our community have accomplished over the past decade, and I can’t wait to see what lies ahead.
“The future of software development is bright, and I’m thrilled to be joining forces with Microsoft to help make it a reality.
“Their focus on developers lines up perfectly with our own, and their scale, tools and global cloud will play a huge role in making GitHub even more valuable for developers everywhere,” Wanstrath said.
Moody’s senior vice president Rick Lane says that “Microsoft’s $7.5 billion acquisition of GitHub reflects the company’s ongoing pivot to open source software, seeking to further broaden its large and growing development community,” adding that the deal is a testament to the ever-growing significance of cloud computing and the Internet of Things.
A month after it was established in 2008, GitHub founder Chris Wanstrath announced in a blog post that the company had 2,000 developers using its platform and within the first year of the company going online, it had more than 46,000 repositories under its belt.
Microsoft itself has been a big GitHub user, taking advantage of the platform to host a number of open-source projects and tools, including Visual Studio Code, Chakra Core, and PowerShell.
Not only that, Microsoft has also supported other open source projects such as Linux, in addition to developing the Git Virtual File System, making it possible for GitHub to manage huge repositories.