Microsoft confirms GitHub acquisition for $7.5 Billion

Buying GitHub for $7.5 Billion is the third-most expensive tech purchase Microsoft has ever made, so you know it’s a big deal. Find out about what the deal means for your digital life.

Society is in the age of digital acquisitions. We recently wrote about Adobe buying the ecommerce-based content management system Magento and tech giants Amazon, Apple and Google are all purchasing smaller companies that will extend their reach and ability into the future.

One of the biggest such stories of 2018 has to be Microsoft purchasing GitHub as announced in June 2018. It’s the go-to destination for web developers around the world who want to share, build and safely store their code online. GitHub is the home of over 85 million code repositories created by over 28 million developers, making it the world’s largest home of code for every digital device imaginable. A few years ago, the company was valued at just over two billion dollars, so Microsoft’s purchase price of $7.5 Billion surprised many industry analysts.

Microsoft has long been one of the platform’s biggest users, with over 1,000 or its army of developers regularly committing code to GitHub since Microsoft’s own take on the concept, Codeplex, falling by the wayside. With products like Windows, Office and Edge continually evolving every day, a service like GitHub is essential for large teams of web and application developers to work collaboratively and track changes to codebases easily. Apple, Google and Amazon are also found on GitHub, working on the next generation of applications that will change the way we work, play and live. In other words, GitHub is an essential part of the digital world today.

Potential drawbacks

Many developers were quick to draw conclusions about what this deal could mean for GitHub and, in turn, their digital workflow in the long run. Microsoft has a long history of buying companies and reducing their product’s functionality before closing them entirely, like Hotmail or one-time mobile phone giant Nokia. Concerns quickly found their way around the internet that Microsoft would steer GitHub away from being a community-driven enterprise and, in turn, direct it towards promoting Microsoft’s products and services.

Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s Chief Executive Officer, was quick to allay concerns that corporate ownership would change the open-source nature of GitHub. In a statement released on Microsoft’s website to announce the acquisition, Satya reaffirmed that Microsoft felt a responsibility to retain GitHub’s developer-first ethos and the open nature of the platform. GitHub, he assured, will remain available for developers who are working on any operating system, not just Windows, and will not be tied to Microsoft’s development platforms such as Visual Studio.

Despite the gripes, many web development companies agree that of all the potential suitors, Microsoft was one of the best choices for GitHub to make. Under their new stewardship the company has turned around their position on open-source software and is now one of the biggest open-source development companies on the planet, so GitHub is a regular part of Microsoft’s workflow.

A stronger GitHub

There are many potential benefits to the merger. For one, having the financial backing of a multi-billion dollar behemoth like Microsoft ensures that GitHub will have the resources to keep their litany of servers going even under the heaviest of loads, which is essential for a mission-critical code repository. Microsoft is also in a position to offer users the benefits of their other cloud-based enterprises such as OneDrive storage or access to upcoming features for their Edge web browser. Additionally, being owned by a company that is primarily developer-driven will mean that it’s in their own interests to keep the system up to date with the latest features and technologies.

At iFactory we work with open-source content management systems every day, and regularly use code repository systems such as GitHub to manage, store and safely secure code. To find out what our team of web site developers can do for your business, contact iFactory today.

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