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Microsoft Businesses Programming

Microsoft Acquires GitHub For $7.5B (microsoft.com) 493

As rumored, Microsoft said Monday that it has acquired code repository website GitHub for a whopping sum of $7.5B in Microsoft stock. Microsoft Corporate Vice President Nat Friedman, founder of Xamarin and an open source veteran, will assume the role of GitHub CEO. GitHub's current CEO, Chris Wanstrath, will become a Microsoft technical fellow, reporting to Executive Vice President Scott Guthrie, to work on strategic software initiatives. From the blog post: "Microsoft is a developer-first company, and by joining forces with GitHub we strengthen our commitment to developer freedom, openness and innovation," said Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft. "We recognize 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." Under the terms of the agreement, Microsoft will acquire GitHub for $7.5 billion in Microsoft stock. Subject to customary closing conditions and completion of regulatory review, the acquisition is expected to close by the end of the calendar year. 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. The two companies, together, will "empower developers to achieve more at every stage of the development lifecycle, accelerate enterprise use of GitHub, and bring Microsoft's developer tools and services to new audiences," Microsoft said. A portion of the developer community has opposed the move, with some already leaving the platform for alternative services.

Update: In a conference call with reporters, Mr. Nadella said today the company is "all in with open source," and requested people to judge the company's commitment to the open source community with its actions in the recent past, today, and in the coming future. GitHub will remain open and independent, Mr. Nadella said.
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Microsoft Acquires GitHub For $7.5B

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  • Rebranding (Score:5, Funny)

    by Fls'Zen ( 812215 ) on Monday June 04, 2018 @09:19AM (#56724308) Homepage
    Next, they will rebrand it "CodePlex".
  • Sad day (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hlavac ( 914630 ) on Monday June 04, 2018 @09:21AM (#56724324)
    I feel like when Oracle bought Sun.. something is over
    • by llamalad ( 12917 )

      If you can't beat them, buy them.

      • When you have as much money as Apple, Google or Microsoft, it's just "if you can't buy them, increase the offer."

    • Java is a technology, while GIthub is a platform. If you don't like the acquisition, you will find moving to an alternative is much less painful than migrating Java to another language.

      That is not to say all platforms are eclipsed by technologies. I think if company X obtained Wikipedia, it could be more disruptive than acquiring Ruby.

      P.S. This is my personal opinion, unrelated to job in Azure.

    • Yeah, look how well it worked out for Nokia. MS buys it, then jacks around and does NOTHING for a couple years, while the guys that sold it, are under agreement to NOT do anything related. (for 7.5 billion I'd do a lot of nothing too)...then MS silently KILLS it.
      • Yeah, look how well it worked out for Nokia.
        MS buys it, then jacks around and does NOTHING for a couple years, while the guys
        that sold it, are under agreement to NOT do anything related. (for 7.5 billion I'd do a lot
        of nothing too)...then MS silently KILLS it.

        Yes, Microsoft killed the Nokia cell phone as a product, but they get what they wanted.... the patents, R&D, and designs.

        Anyone following the cell phone market, Nokia, and the acquisition by Microsoft knew that Nokia phones were already dead, including Microsoft. With iPhone and Android phones, there wasn't any room for a third mobile phone OS competitor. What Microsoft was buying was Nokia's patent portfolio. With all of the lawsuits over cell phone patents, Microsoft wanted arrows in their quiver f

    • Wait until you see how you feel when Oracle buys Microsoft. :)
    • Re:Sad day (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 04, 2018 @10:52AM (#56724912)

      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.

      Rember this from just a couple of years ago? https://yro.slashdot.org/story... [slashdot.org]

    • A more directly relevant comparison in some ways is Microsoft acquiring Skype. It was not FOSS but, like FOSS, the latest and greatest version used to be available on all OS platforms (which is why it was so useful) before MS acquired it and broke that so that now Skype is only a shadow of its former self. I seem to remember comments about it also being planned to be kept relatively independent too.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 04, 2018 @09:21AM (#56724328)

    I sensed a great disturbance in the FOSS, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced.

  • I still don't really see the need for Microsoft to buy Github unless it wanted to make significant changes. It is quite easy for companies to integrate their development tools with Github, so it isn't like owning Github really improves any of Microsoft's existing products. And it isn't like Github is really much of a value at that price. I think LinkedIn was overpriced too, but at least there I could understand the value LinkedIn gave Microsoft's other products. I'm coming up short on this one.

    So perhaps we

    • by jonnythan ( 79727 ) on Monday June 04, 2018 @09:29AM (#56724382)

      If they don't own it, GitHub can make changes that Microsoft doesn't like. That's the long and short of it.

      Microsoft can easily afford this, and they see its continued existence and use as important. They're protecting an asset by assuming control of it.

      • by timholman ( 71886 ) on Monday June 04, 2018 @10:22AM (#56724754)

        If they don't own it, GitHub can make changes that Microsoft doesn't like. That's the long and short of it.

        Microsoft can easily afford this, and they see its continued existence and use as important. They're protecting an asset by assuming control of it.

        And within 6 months, some middle-level Microsoft manager looking for a promotion will decide to "enhance" GitHub as a means of increasing visibility within the corporate structure, but to the complete detriment of everyone using it, including Microsoft's own internal dev teams.

        You only have to look at Microsoft's past behavior in order to accurately predict the future with the GitHub acquisition.

        GitHub is dead. Leave now.

      • Microsoft can easily afford this, and they see its continued existence and use as important. They're protecting an asset by assuming control of it.

        Microsoft has claimed to be different before, and have assumed control of assets and then altered the deal before. The safest bet is to assume that they will do bad things to github like they have literally every single one of their prior acquisitions. Even if they don't deliberately try to ruin it with misfeatures, they will ruin it with incompetence.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jellomizer ( 103300 )

      The value is that they can control the development ecosystem.

      With Github you can do a full life cycle development all on Microsoft back yard. Where they can see you, guide you, encourage you to not go too far off course.

      For most development, this is actually probably a good thing, as most stuff that we make, isn't breaking the mold being something super advanced and despite what developers think of themselves they are average, not superior. Having MS Framework as a guiding hand, that will prevent too many

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by stooo ( 2202012 )

      1) E. for Embrace
      2) E. for Extend
      3) E. For Extinguish
      4) P. for Profit

  • by Revek ( 133289 ) on Monday June 04, 2018 @09:24AM (#56724350) Homepage

    Who is going to trust their code to people that are known to 'borrow' others ideas?

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Daemonik ( 171801 )
      You mean your publicly available code that's there for anyone to just "borrow" from?
      • by Revek ( 133289 )

        I say this since I have never seen any proof that this [arstechnica.com] and this [infoworld.com] has ever elimiated as a possiblity. Sourceforge killed itself three years ago and this is a opportunity to come back if they step in and make the needed changes to their infrastructure and policies.

    • by Junta ( 36770 )

      sourceforge is still a festering bloat of ads. Just opening a sourceforge download tab makes my fan spin up.

      gitlab or atlassian would be the winners if any.

  • "community" (Score:4, Informative)

    by ooloorie ( 4394035 ) on Monday June 04, 2018 @09:25AM (#56724356)

    A portion of the developer community has opposed the move, with some already leaving the platform for alternative service.

    A bunch of people doing the same thing, or even having the same interests, is not a "community", so let's stop putting "community" after every group. What you're trying to say is simple: Some open source developers have opposed the move, with some already leaving the platform for alternative service.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      community
      kmjunti/
      noun

      1. a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common.
      "Montreal's Italian community"
      2. the condition of sharing or having certain attitudes and interests in common.
      "the sense of community that organized religion can provide"

      I would say GitHub users share a condition of having certain attitudes or interests in common, namely, Gi

      • "Community" semantically and historically includes a notion of "fellowship" and "association". Your dictionary entry gives examples of communities but misses the essence of what they are. The dictionary.com definition [dictionary.com] is better:

        community

        noun, plural communities.

        a social group of any size whose members reside in a specific locality, share government, and often have a common cultural and historical heritage.
        a locality inhabited by such a group.
        a social, religious, occupational, or other group sharing common c

  • by Ukab the Great ( 87152 ) on Monday June 04, 2018 @09:29AM (#56724374)

    Will github desktop get an Octoclippy virtual assistant?

  • Licenses (Score:4, Funny)

    by richie2000 ( 159732 ) <rickard.olsson@gmail.com> on Monday June 04, 2018 @09:29AM (#56724376) Homepage Journal

    Apparently, Microsoft thought the cost of licenses for all the code on GitHub was included in the price.

    • Apparently, Microsoft thought the cost of licenses for all the code on GitHub was included in the price.

      Well, given that all the (publicly visible*) code on GitHub is licensed under some opensource license (most likely GPL or BSD).
      The monetary cost of code under these licenses is traditionally zero (0) dollars**.

      The 7.5 billion dollars they paid for GitHub also includes a sum of zero (0) dollars.

      So they have paid the whole zero dollars it takes to license all the opensource code currently on GitHub.

      It only remain to be seen if they'll also pay the non-monetary** cost that is required by the licensing.

      ---

      * - Y

  • by nimbius ( 983462 ) on Monday June 04, 2018 @09:29AM (#56724380) Homepage

    For those looking for alternatives, https://gitlab.com/ [gitlab.com] is open source and can easily import all your projects from github.

    gitea is a good light weight alternative for those seeking to take back their repos as well:
    https://gitea.io/en-US/ [gitea.io]

    dont wait until Microsoft turns this into Github Professional platinum edition 2019 with Minecraft 3D integration and Azure store support.

  • by gweihir ( 88907 ) on Monday June 04, 2018 @09:34AM (#56724412)

    I have done so a while ago, the acquisition by Microsoft is just one stage in the decline, and not the first one.

  • Developers developers developers
    Developers developers developers

    Balmer, suit up, we need you.

  • by Mysticalfruit ( 533341 ) on Monday June 04, 2018 @09:56AM (#56724564) Homepage Journal
    It's been clear for a long time that GitHub didn't have a sustainable business model. The question now is how does this change GitHub? Suddenly being owned by MS isn't going to fix their "giving away services for free" business model and MS isn't exactly known for it's altruism.

    I imagine that in the near future, you're going to see functionality stripped from the free GitHub and moved into tiered services that cost money.

    This might include stuff ilke Paywalling the collaborative features and tiering out the fancier parts... Tier 1 only has groups, Tier 2 has groups and Kanban boards, etc. Putting strict limits on this size of free repos, etc.

    Let's not forget exactly how long it took before Skype stopped having a linux client.
  • by ErichTheRed ( 39327 ) on Monday June 04, 2018 @10:00AM (#56724588)

    I see everyone saying that Microsoft is just going to destroy Github, but I think they've got different plans. Skype was acquired to give them better video conferencing in O365/Teams and IP for video chat for Windows Phone, etc. Nokia was acquired because they wanted to buy their way into the iPhone/Android app store supported phone model. In neither of these cases were there any plans to keep the companies as-is. I think their overall plan is to make it even easier than it is now to consume Azure services while not touching the underlying culture around Github.

    The reason for this is clear in the posts here...no one from the "open source community" trusts Microsoft. This is why they've went out of their way to let people run Linux and non-Microsoft products in Azure as first-class citizens. It's no longer about selling software; they want people to consume services monthly. They don't care what you run as long as you're paying them every month for a VM or PaaS instance to run it on, and that's a huge shift. They know that if they're not selling software licenses anymore, they need to move their focus away from enterprises and towards developers...because developers are the ones writing the new-style apps that will generate them cloud revenue.

    I also think another reason they're doing this is because they're trying to establish "hipster developer cred." All the cool kids use Github. All the cool kids use open source. Therefore, if they want cool kids to pay them every month to host their code and build pipelines in VSTS, Github is the onramp. Enterprise developers with their stuffy closed source control solutions will still be supported, but they want to be seen as open to change. I've talked to a lot of people who work at Microsoft, and the change over the last 4 years has been pretty sweeping. Developers used to have private office space and they're slowly being moved into cafeteria-table workspaces to promote a DevOps culture. And they fired the QA testers and are forcing developers to do their own testing now, which is a huge change. It's all about pumping out new services in Azure and Office 365 at a breakneck pace instead of three-year OS release cycles.

    • by wonkavader ( 605434 ) on Monday June 04, 2018 @10:14AM (#56724708)

      Dude, let's go back to that first paragraph. Skype is now dying. I am forced to use it at work and it is genuinely worse than the MicroSoft product it replaced. Nokia is TOAST.

      Microsoft may be planning many things with who knows what good intentions. They'll still gonna destroy github.

      • by jaseuk ( 217780 )

        Skype is huge and growing as fast as Microsoft can sign up organisations to O365 which is also huge.

        Consumers might well be flocking to WhatsApp or Snapchat but in a business setting Skype is huge.

        • by Zmobie ( 2478450 ) on Monday June 04, 2018 @12:10PM (#56725460)

          Yea I am going to have to agree with jaseuk here. Skype is not dying. The consumer market/perception is not really important to their strategy on a lot of products. Little guys pay with little checks and that is why the consumer market is absolutely brutal. For every Snapchat or WhatsApp (to borrow the examples) there is a littered landscape of dead applications or attempted copycats (*cough*Instagram*cough*). Meanwhile, MS realized a long time ago that businesses will pay big bucks for productivity software, and you don't even have to sign up that many before the product is in the black.

          Then, because of the difficulty in shifting an entire company off of a particular technology it usually takes a monumental fuck-up or need before they get off of it (not to mention a real competitor). Some employees might hate it, but enough like it or the execs like it and it doesn't matter. Lync was perfectly fine in a lot of ways, and Skype for Business is basically re-branded Lync with some upgraded libraries from the acquisition. Originally, MS abused a lot of first-to-market features and tech (or at least they were the best of the first crop) and made TONS of money from it. Now? They can BUY the first to market/dominate market group if they don't capture it and as long as there is a clear path to business level monetization, it is worth it. Didn't work out with the phone division because they made a really bad strategic error and bought the company that was already on decline in that area. The one thing I am not sold on their strategy at the moment is the amount of money Nadella is paying for some of this stuff. I agree with other poster's that they are overpaying for GitHub, but that doesn't really feed into my post's main point.

          Skype is plenty big in the business world. Especially with them bundling it into their O365 subscriptions and everyone looking at it as mild added value at the very least. Hell, even companies that use WebEx still have Skype often times. So the idea that Skype is dying is pretty poorly informed. MS business strategy is not to capture the consumer market so much, that is just a nice side-effect to them (hence the amount of stuff they are giving out free now to non-enterprise customers). Their strategy is to make money from businesses and be sure to keep enough of the consumer market engaged with their entire portfolio to make it more profitable for businesses to sign up with MS in general. Skype just so happens to be something they don't really care about in the consumer space it appears.

  • you let a small group of people have this much money they can buy out pretty much any competitor. Money is power. Wealth inequality means power inequality. A certain amount is fine, but I don't think anyone would argue that it's gone too far in one direction when a company can blow $7.5 billion on a code repository.
  • Please someone fork that quick ; many open sourcers should follow.
  • by wonkavader ( 605434 ) on Monday June 04, 2018 @10:12AM (#56724684)

    I suspect part of what Microsoft is doing here is seeing who downloads what, in what order, after what stimulus, from what referencing page, etc.

    Using this allows them to figure out what FOSS software to steal/rebrand, and what communities can be disrupted by messing with what FOSS product.

    If this is the case, a starting point as a defense would be to set up a bounce site which pulls github for you, so no referrer/cookies passed. Such a site could, over time, replace github, but replacing github would take work and money, whereas partially insulating us from microsoft tracking would be trivial.

    • Not necessary. If you want to find what are the popular FOSS projects, just scrape all the hosting sites. Count the number of downloads, followers, committers, etc.
  • by blind biker ( 1066130 ) on Monday June 04, 2018 @10:14AM (#56724706) Journal

    Remember what happened with Hotmail (well, if you're old like me), Skype, Nokia etc.

  • by Gravis Zero ( 934156 ) on Monday June 04, 2018 @10:18AM (#56724728)

    This [youtu.be] should [youtu.be] clear [youtu.be] it [youtu.be] up [youtu.be] for [youtube.com] you. [youtu.be]

  • by Anon E. Muss ( 808473 ) on Monday June 04, 2018 @10:29AM (#56724784)

    github as it exists now was never going to last forever. At some point the VC firms that funded github were going to cash out. They'd either take it public or arrange an acquisition. That's how this works.

  • Now Microsoft has a revision control system maybe their code quality will get better?
  • Embrace, extend, extinguish
  • Satya is their daddy now. So I'm sure MS, as a good corporate citizen, will address any and all of GitHub's shortcomings. Get ready for major policy updates! After that, well... it appears MS is goin' back to their same o' use to be. GitHub is the leading software development platform, and as such is a major influence in the future of IT. How long before the clarion call to abandon ship?
  • by mikeabbott420 ( 744514 ) on Monday June 04, 2018 @11:09AM (#56725034) Journal
    how do they make 7.5 billion back from github? unless this is about extinguishing competition then why bother?
  • by The Welcome Rain ( 31576 ) * on Monday June 04, 2018 @01:42PM (#56726172)

    Microsoft invests in git. Slashdots look for the hidden catch. Failing to find one, they invent some. This might be seen as helping Microsoft in their evil designs, except that all of the ideas are so dumb that they couldn't be regarded as useful even by the inventors of the Zune.

    Microsoft gives git the capability to deal with huge codebases, which had been a noted weakness of that system. Slashdots whine that the initialism of the name they gave it conflicts with some obscure GNOME project. According to them, this was some 4-D chess move to injure the GNOME project, which self-administers footbullets using automatic weapons.

    Microsoft throws money at Github so it can remain viable. Slashdots fulminate about the implications. Banner ads? In your repo? It's more likely than you think.

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