Why Microsoft's Acquisition of Github Is a Good Thing

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Why Microsoft's Acquisition of Github Is a Good Thing

Check out why this developer is enthusiastic about Microsoft's recent acquisition of Github, and why she feels Microsoft is perfect for the job.

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GitHub isn’t a programming tool, it’s the heart of the open-source community, sort of a bridge between a social network and project management tool. According to Microsoft, GitHub has 28 million users and hosts 85 million codebases. 

And now it's no longer an independent community. After 10-years run of GitHub as an independent company, Microsoft has acquired it for a solid 7.5 billion dollars.    

For everyone including GitHub itself, the acquiring by Microsoft definitely will result the best.   

Now It Is Official

Microsoft said in a blog post:

"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."   

These are the three clear opportunities envisioned by Microsoft through this acquisition.   

Microsoft + GitHub = Innovation   

Over the last three years, there’s been a seismic shift at Microsoft in the way it thinks about building software, and about how to share it with the world.    

In this context, Microsoft’s acquisition of GitHub makes so much sense, because it gives the start-up a new home, and an unlimited runway to keep building its tools for open source while getting the structure it needs to succeed.     

Microsoft sees this and is in a position to benefit by fostering the community and building out amazing tooling for developers to use, for free, across platforms.   

GitHub is naturally a fantastic play here, and Microsoft’s scale means that it might be able to offer basic features like private repositories to individuals for free, winning even more favor with the community.   

Why It's Not a Bait and Switch

Over the last three years', Microsoft has gone a long way to win over the developer community and show its true interest by covering up the following even before its GitHub merger became a discussion:   

  • Open-sourced all of the .NET framework on GitHub   

  • Build out a rich, system-level Windows features to bring a rich Unix shell to the platform to make development easier    

  • Began and continues to maintain one of the best open-source code editors available for every platform out there   

  • Became the largest contributor to open source on GitHub.   

Windows 10 platform is now built on open-source Progressive Web App technology   

Why It Matters   

It matters because anyone else is not as a better fit for acquiring GitHub — Microsoft will be held to a high standard by the community, which has alternatives and is unlikely to screw this up.   

Not for some locked-in platform, Microsoft finds itself building best-in-class tools for everyone. That is this work in creating a new generation of developers who can work on any platform, using the best tools, regardless of if they’re on a PC, Mac or Linux box.     

GitHub’s own announcement post outlines shared the vision well, and that both Microsoft and GitHub understand the responsibility that comes with the deal.   

In spite of Microsoft’s recent decision is to open its arms to open source, there are plenty of skeptics, especially within the GitHub community. And everyone needs it to remain as an open platform for all developers irrespective of the language, stack, platform, cloud, or license. Hopefully, GitHub will continue to be the best place for software creation, collaboration, and discovery.   

Microsoft’s own post from CEO Satya Nadella shows the same self-awareness:   

“Most importantly, we recognize the responsibility we take on with this agreement,” explains Nadella. “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.”   

What Next?   

What started as a way to reach developers and grow its popularity with the community has ended up with the merger between the Microsoft and GitHub, one of the most important open source community.   

Now the sprawling platform is in the hands of a company that might actually do something wonderful.    

Once this acquisition wraps up, it is a great acquisition that secures GitHub’s future as a part of developer tooling for years to come.   

Microsoft might be able to revive GitHub as a platform and start bringing back meaningful innovation to our open source tooling and still allows free choice.   

github ,innovation ,technology ,azure ,repositories ,open source ,microsoft acquisition

Published at DZone with permission of Rohitha Elsa Philip , DZone MVB. See the original article here.

Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.

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