Microsoft has agreed to buy GitHub for $7.5 billion
You’re probably well acquainted with GitHub. After all, it’s the go-to place for developers on our forums to upload the source code for their applications, custom kernels, custom AOSP-based ROMs, and much more. On the off-chance that you aren’t familiar with GitHub, it’s the most popular hosting service for Git repositories where you can upload the source code for your project and manage it with collaboration features such as bug tracking, commits, feature request, wikis, and more. GitHub has remained independent for the entirety of its existence, but that could change as Microsoft has reportedly agreed to purchase it.
It’s a stunning move if you consider Microsoft’s early history with regards to Linux, but less surprising given the company’s more recent history. Microsoft has slowly shifted their stance towards open source projects, even going so far as open sourcing core components of .NET, PowerShell, and Chakra Core. According to Bloomberg, which broke the story, Microsoft agreed to buy GitHub under thus far undisclosed terms (GitHub was last valued at $2 billion back in 2015, though, so we expect the 2018 valuation to be in the same ballpark). As a company, GitHub has had revenue and internal leadership issues for some time, and they’ve been looking for a new CEO for about 9 months. Under Microsoft, new leadership could turn things around for GitHub, at least financially.
It’s unclear how the acquisition will affect the service and the direction of the company both in the short run and the long run. We caution against panicking at the Microsoft acquisition unless there’s cause to do so—still, it’s always a good idea to never put all of your eggs in one basket and consider looking at alternatives if things go awry. One of the most popular competitors in the space, GitLab, is taking advantage of this news to tout their own service. GitLab has even published a well-timed tutorial on how to migrate your project from GitHub.
Update: It’s official
Microsoft officially confirmed the acquisition while reaffirming their stance on open source and reassuring consumers that GitHub will remain an open, developer-first platform operating independently. The new CEO will be Nat Friedman. We will wait and see whether Microsoft leadership will shake things up inside GitHub—for better or for worse—once the deal closes later this year. You can read the official announcement post here.