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Microsoft could be on the verge of buying GitHub
04 June 2018, 11:56 | Cedric Leonard
Microsoft is buying code-sharing site GitHub, say reports
But a US$5 billionprice tag would certainly make GitHub one of the larger purchases in Microsoft's portfolio. The company has since grown to feature video game consoles (Xbox), consumer electronics, personal computers and cloud services (Microsoft Azure). More importantly for Microsoft, perhaps, the acquisition would give it the opportunity to integrate its cloud and development tools more closely with some of the most popular open-source projects.
While earlier reports pegged this transaction to be valued at around $2 billion, Microsoft has today announced that it is officially acquiring GitHub for $7.5 billion. Microsoft, once opposed to that kind of open-source software development, is now one if the biggest contributors to GitHub.
Microsoft Corporate Vice President Nat Friedman, founder of Xamarin and an open source veteran, will assume the role of GitHub CEO. Now it looks as though Microsoft may be its new owner.
"In other words, not only should sceptics not be anxious about Microsoft unduly favouring their own platforms, they should also be excited that, more than any other potential acquirer, Microsoft is likely to push the individual and community aspects that make GitHub so unique".
Conversely, of course, pre-Nadella, Microsoft wasn't working, and its embracing of open source has probably saved it from complete irrelevance.
That said, GitHub is more significant than Microsoft, and its unlikely its goal will be modified once the Redmond-based giant takes over day-to-day operations.
For the past few days, rumors have been floating around that Microsoft is considering an acquisition of GitHub. GitHub has also not responded to media inquiries to the potential acquisition. The site stores valuable code for thousands of developers and companies, and also can track major trends in the software industry. In fact, just a year ago, Microsoft shut down CodePlex, which is like GitHub although it launched back in 2006. Bloomberg reported that despite growing revenue, the company posted a loss of $66 million (paywall) over the first nine months of 2016. GitHub funder and former CEO Chris Wanstrath will become a Microsoft technical fellow and work on strategic software initiatives.
Many firms depend on GitHub to collaborate and build their products.
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