Microsoft acquires GitHub causing mixed reviews among developers

on 12 June 2018
desktop browser showing github in window with Microsoft acquisition banner

The tech scene has been on fire these past few weeks. With Microsoft buying GitHub for $7.5bn, in addition to their AI acquisition of Semantic Machines last month, and local Leamington Spa games developer Playground Games also being snapped up by the tech giant’s studios division.

It’s no doubt that developers are getting hot underneath the collar about the Microsoft/GitHub acquisition with many open-source supporters distrusting Microsoft; some believing it puts competitors at risk with Microsoft potentially delving into the code of the likes of Facebook, Google, Amazon, Twitter. Then there’s the issue of Microsoft and it’s obsession with running ads. Will the tech giant eventually turn GitHub into an overrun ad platform?

If not Microsoft, then who would buy the company? It’s no secret that a buy-in was what GitHub needed. As a community-based open source platform that clearly would not have benefited from just a cash injection, is the likes of Microsoft just trying to monetise the platform through ads (as many reluctant developers think will be the case) the solution it really needed to stay afloat.

Tech companies and startup acquisitions are very often categorised as overpriced and eye-wateringly expensive. Its right, they are, but the gain is not focused solely on financial gains. It’s not necessarily that GitHub is financially worth the $7.5bn but rather that Microsoft wants the unprecedented access to the developer knowledge; and with its customer base, they are rumoured to have the ability to grow the brand to far more enterprise customers than others. It makes sense for Microsoft to go ahead with this deal. Increasingly over the years they have been using GitHub for their own development purposes, but it could also mean that the company benefits from a massive competitive edge against the likes of Amazon Web Services through this new knowledges source.

There’s no end of developers who seem divisive on the issue. Some developers have already migrated to a competitor, just see the hashtag #MovetoGitLab, but this is miniscule in comparison to the 85 million repositories still hosted on GitHub. So, is it really worth worrying over?

Let us know what your thoughts are; we’d love to get to know what you all think of the news. Will it affect you? Are you migrating? Join in the conversation over on our Twitter page: @applauseIT.


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