Last week, Microsoft confirmed that it acquired GitHub, “the popular Git-based code sharing and collaboration service,” TechCrunch says. However, even though GitHub is a hit with enterprise users, it “has never turned a profit and chances are the company decided that an acquisition was preferable to trying to [do an initial public offer] IPO.”
Enterprise users find GitHub attractive because its main revenue source is paid accounts, “which allows for private repositories and a number of other features that enterprises need,” TechCrunch says. Similarly, Microsoft absorbed the solution because it meshes well with the tech giant’s goal of becoming the go-to platform for every developer’s needs, regardless of what platform they use. Plus, public and open sources projects are able to use it free of charge.
What decision makers should keep in mind:
TechCrunch says that open source developers will keep a close eye on what Microsoft does once GitHub is acquired. “That’s because there is a lot of distrust in this cohort, which is understandable given Microsoft’s history,” according to TechCrunch, that history being that the company used to suppress Linux’s open source operating systems.
There is even talk that open source maintainers were considering other solutions instead, and dropping GitHub in the wake of the deal. If this were to happen, the future would look glum for GitHub and Microsoft alike, TechCrunch says. The publication suggests that a migration would also be ironic: the origins of GitHub lie in the versioning control system created by Linus Torvalds, who worked on it “in part as a response to a previous system, BitKeeper, changing its terms away from being free to use.”
Despite the word of caution, TechCrunch says that Microsoft has come a long way in the past ten years; during the acquisition announcement, Microsoft’s CEO, Satya Nadella, said that with GitHub, the company is ready to empower today’s developers: “Microsoft is a developer-first company, and by joining forces with GitHub we strengthen our commitment to developer freedom, openness and innovation,” she said.
If this acquisition succeeds, Microsoft may have room in the future to build stronger bridges with other companies: “Microsoft is no stranger to ingesting huge companies,” TechCrunch says.