Microsoft to buy web hosting service GitHub for $7.5B in stock

Is Microsoft acquiring GitHub?

Is Microsoft acquiring GitHub?

Under the terms of the agreement, Microsoft will get GitHub for $7.5 billion in Microsoft stock.

"Developers will be at the centre of solving the world's most pressing challenges", Mr Nadella said in a blog post.

The two companies 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 has been interested in bolstering its programming tools and services and this acquisition would fit in nicely with those goals in mind, especially with Microsoft interested in building more open-source software.

The San Francisco, California-headquartered GitHub has more than 23 million individual users in more than 1.5 million organisations.

Because of this functionality, GitHub has found itself at the center of the world of open-source software development - making this deal somewhat ironic, as Microsoft spent much of the '90s fiercely competing with open-source initiatives.

"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, in a statement.

As the result of the acquisition, Microsoft's vice president Nat Friedman is taking over as CEO of GitHub, taking over for current CEO Chris Wanstrath.

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This is not the first time Microsoft has bought into a community. Friedman, the incoming CEO, has a history with software development as the founder of Xamarin, a software-development startup that Microsoft purchased in 2016.

Moody's analyst Richard Lane said the deal reflects Microsoft's "ongoing pivot to open source software, seeking to further broaden its large and growing development community".

Microsoft is also using the Git version control system for Windows development.

The deal sparked some fears in the GitHub community that Microsoft's corporate takeover could ruin the experience.

But Julie Lerman, a GitHub user who works as a Microsoft liaison with freelance developers, cautiously welcomed the partnership.

Those most directly affected are the site's more than 28 developers, some of whom said they were concerned Microsoft could alter GitHub for the worse, as some would say it has done with past acquisitions such as Skype. "They are in a position to help GitHub".

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