Software giant Microsoft has confirmed that it is buying the popular developer website GitHub in a deal that values the loss-making company at $7.5 billion.
The deal, which had been strongly rumoured over the weekend following reports on Business Insider on Friday and Bloomberg on Sunday, was confirmed in a statement today from Microsoft.
Naturally, Microsoft is "excited" about the deal, and crowed about the 28 million developers now collaborating on software projects on GitHub, which is home to 85 million code repositories. More than one million organisations around the world also use GitHub to aid their own internal development efforts.
Satya looked at Microsoft's bill from all the code we host on GitHub and figured it would be cheaper to buy the company.— Miguel de Icaza (@migueldeicaza) June 4, 2018
An excited Satya Nadella said: "Microsoft is a developer-first company, and by joining forces with GitHub we strengthen our commitment to developer freedom, openness and innovation. We recognise the community responsibility we take on with this agreement and will do our best work to empower every developer to build, innovate and solve the world's most pressing challenges."
Microsoft corporate vice president Nat Friedman, founder of Xamarin, which Microsoft acquired in February 2016, will takeover as CEO of GitHub. GitHub's current CEO, Chris Wanstrath, will become a Microsoft technical fellow, reporting to executive vice president Scott Guthrie, and will be put to work on "strategic software initiatives".
However, Wanstrath, GitHub's co-founders Tom Preston-Werner, Chris Wanstrath, and PJ Hyett and their backers won't be going home tonight pushing wheelbarrows full of cash - the deal will be paid for in Microsoft stock and will no doubt have earn-outs attached, and is subject to the usual regulatory once-over but should be completed by the end of the year.
Many developers were far from over-joyed about the deal, with some suggesting that it could potentially give Microsoft an excessive level of insight into the developments that other companies - including rivals - are working on. Others suggested that if code were to coalesce on the GitHub platform, post-acquisition, it would create a potentially dangerous ‘single point of failure.
Rival GitLab claimed that it was already enjoying a 10x spike in the number of imported code repositories and it was quick to dangle big discounts in front of potential corporate switchers.
The main problem with Github being bought by Microsoft isn't MS.— tante (@tante) June 4, 2018
It's that in 2018 we still haven't learned that critical infrastructure shouldn't belong to one company ... and that we should avoid building single points of failure.
So, Microsoft can find out what Google/Facebook/Apple etc. are working on in their private GitHub repos ? nice trick 💩— WalkingCat (@h0x0d) June 4, 2018
Nevertheless, Microsoft was keen to assert that nothing (much) would change. "GitHub will retain its developer-first ethos and will operate independently to provide an open platform for all developers in all industries.
"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 to any operating system, any cloud and any device," claimed the company's statement.
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