After several days of swirling rumours of a takeover, Microsoft has confirmed it has purchased the website
The acquisition of the popular online coding repository and collaboration tool, which reportedly brings in about
$140m (£104m) in annual revenue, is the largest by Microsoft since it bought out career networking platform LinkedIn for
$26.2bn (£19.5bn) in 2016. As a go-to destination for coders of all stripes since the mid-2000s, a change in ownership of the platform could mean a significant shift in the industry. A search of
GitHub reveals over
5,000 repository results for projects related to SharePoint and another
1,000 or so on Office 365, so we at WM Reply are keeping a watchful eye of any potential changes on the site.
Since the announcement, speculation about Microsoft’s intent has been rife on social media. Some believe the Redmond based firm is taking a
3E (Embrace, Extend, and Extinguish) approach to
GitHub’s future, seizing its coding repository in order to find out what software innovations the community is working on, then duplicating and launching their own versions ahead of any competitors. It could, however, be argued that the takeover is a much like Microsoft’s acquisition of LinkedIn, which has seen no significant changes in purpose or presentation.
The plan seems to be one in which Microsoft continues to shed its image among investors as being
‘against technological innovation’, as venture capitalist
Peter Thiel told a conference it was in 2014, and essentially becomes a ‘cool’ place for people to work in the way that Silicon Valley competitors such as
Google are considered to be. Since CEO
Satya Nadella was appointed in 2014, the company’s personality has shifted towards amiability, which has done much to lift its financial outlook. It is worth adding that in 2015, one of Microsoft’s top engineers,
Mark Russinovich, stated on the record that it was ‘definitely possible’ that one day the company could allow the code that underpins its Windows OS to be open sourced. If true, the code could now well end up on
GitHub, to be tinkered with by its estimated
20 million users.
At any rate, the onus is now on Microsoft to make any further announcements about the future of
GitHub. Those who see the takeover as a bad thing look to be leading a movement towards competing online coding collaboration tools such as
GitLab, which tweeted on the day of the announcement that it was already seeing a tenfold increase into the number of repositories being uploaded to its platform. Perhaps coincidentally, on the same day, Apple announced as its WWDC event that the company’s own Xcode 10 development tools would be integrated into
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