Monday, June 4, 2018 [Tweets] [Favorites]

Microsoft Acquires GitHub

Microsoft (Hacker News):

Microsoft Corp. on Monday announced it has reached an agreement to acquire GitHub, the world’s leading software development platform where more than 28 million developers learn, share and collaborate to create the future.

[…]

“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.

GitHub (tweet):

But more than that, their vision for the future closely matches our own. We both believe GitHub needs to remain an open platform for all developers. No matter your language, stack, platform, cloud, or license, GitHub will continue to be your home—the best place for software creation, collaboration, and discovery.

[…]

As part of this change, Nat Friedman will be taking on the role of GitHub’s CEO. We have been searching for a new CEO for some time and found in both Microsoft and Nat a partner we believe will strengthen and grow the GitHub community and company over the next few years. Nat has a ton of experience with software and the open source software community, having co-founded Xamarin and worked on numerous open source projects over the years, and is the perfect person to help GitHub grow and continue to make life better for developers.

I think this makes a lot of sense for Microsoft. I would have preferred that GitHub remain independent, but it sounds like that wasn’t an option. Given that, it’s hard to argue that there’s another company with $7.5B that would have been better.

Jason Fried (in 2014):

Prediction: If Github ends up selling itself one day, Microsoft will be the buyer.

Eric Blair:

Trying to figure out how I’d explain it to 20 yr old Eric that he’d think MS acquiring a key piece of his common development infrastructure would be a Good Thing…

Dave Winer:

I know this is the new compassionate loving Microsoft, but it’s still the tech industry, and Microsoft invented Embrace and Extend. It’s hard to imagine that not being in the playbook for the hub of git. 💥

One consequence of this deal, if it’s for real, is that Microsoft’s competitors will probably stop using GitHub and may launch competitors, esp if GitHub integrates with Microsoft’s cloud services.

@jamiebiulds:

I think it’s time I publicly shared about how Microsoft stole my code and then spit on it.

I’d been waiting for them to do something about it, but that is clearly never happening.

Microsoft has a long history of stealing stuff.

Russell Ivanovic:

I for one welcome our new Microsoft Overlords.

I think they will be great stewards of GitHub. I trust no giant company more when it comes to developer tools.

Russell Ivanovic:

GitHub For Enterprise is self hosted. So there’s no requests to comply with. Also everyone already trusted GitHub and they were massively VC backed which to me, is actually worse.

Russell Ivanovic:

The majority of their money comes from companies who host their own Githubs on their own servers.

But to your question: Would I trust the biggest open source contributor in the world to run a source code platform. Yes

Florent Pillet:

With Microsoft acquiring GitHub, we’re now in a situation where Apple’s open-source effort is ... hosted by Microsoft. Fun times!

David Heinemeier Hansson:

GitHub’s time bomb has exploded right on time with the sale to Microsoft. Venture capitalists need their pound of flesh in one big lump. There’s no path for simply taking profits in that world. It’s all or nothing. Sad end to the independence of GitHub 😢

Eric Sink:

A long-term independent GitHub became unlikely in July 2012 when they got a 100M investment. And three years later, after they got another 250M, their only possible destiny was acquisition.

When you raise $350M in VC money and want to stay independent, you can’t just be profitable. You have to be insanely profitable.

Kelly Sommers:

Our industry is really wack. We trust some rando startup with all our source code that could disappear any time and a company known to have a track record of supporting things for decades buys them out and now you all worry?

Who else would you have liked to buy them?

David Heinemeier Hansson:

One thing to consider re: the $7.5B for GitHub. Microsoft is trading at 82 P/E!! They have all this equity value burning a role in their pocket. Google is at 63, Facebook at 30, Apple at 18.

Myke Hurley:

It’s interesting to me that Microsoft announces huge acquisitions on the morning of WWDC

2018 - Github

2016 - LinkedIn

Thomas Brand:

Microsoft will make a better steward of GitHub than any other company I can think of.

Danny Greg:

Anyone who has spent any time working at GitHub will tell you this acquisition is fantastic news.

MS above all other potential suitors understands the community, modern open source and building fantastic developer tools.

Josh Centers:

The GitHub deal is probably a net good, but Microsoft is still fundamentally the same company it was 20 years ago. The beast is just hibernating.

Erik Sink:

Some people will never stop looking at Microsoft through their 1998 lens. But the truth is, here in 2018, nobody is doing open source better than Microsoft.

Keith Smiley (Hacker News):

Well now we know how the GitHub news is affecting gitlab.

Dan Luu:

If you’re curious about the actual rate, it’s been about 1 repo per second since the first story hit HN, mid-day Sunday in the US.

GitLab:

This is validation of the growing influence of software developers in the world, and the importance of modern DevOps. The software community owes a lot to GitHub, and that includes the GitLab community. GitLab was first developed on GitHub and found its first contributors through it.

[…]

While we admire what’s been done, our strategy differs in two key areas. First, instead of integrating multiple tools together, we believe a single application, built from the ground up to support the entire DevOps lifecycle is a better experience leading to a faster cycle time. Second, it’s important to us that the core of our product always remain open source itself as well. Being “open core” means everyone can build the tools together. Having it all in a single application means everyone can use the same tool to collaborate together. We see the next evolution of software development as a world where everyone can contribute.

Nick Lockwood:

There is no possible way that MS can attempt to profit from Github that won’t be a disaster.

I’m hoping that the plan is to simply run it at a loss because it’s a valuable developer tool and MS devs use it.

On that basis, I’m cautiously optimistic about the acquisition.

See also: Rocket.

Previously: GVFS (Git Virtual File System), The Largest Git Repo on the Planet.

Update (2018-06-04): Dave Winer:

GitHub was that rare thing, a consensus platform. Everyone used it. If you used some other git server, you’d have to explain why. Now that consensus will very likely break up.

Chris Siebenmann:

It’s not that you can’t extract yourself from Github or maintain a presence apart from it; it’s that Github has made its embrace inviting and easy to take advantage of. It’s very easy to slide into Github tacitly being your open source presence, where people go to find you and your stuff. If I wanted to change this (which I currently don’t), I’m honestly not sure how I’d make it clear on my Github presence that people should now look elsewhere.

Mark Hughes:

Remember how we all had our own Subversion and Mercurial servers (and Bitbucket if you wanted C-DVCS)? Good times are back. A lot of people are going to learn very hard lessons about backups, redundancy, and system administration.

Update (2018-06-05): Ben Thompson (Hacker News):

Again, though, GitHub revenue is not the point; Microsoft has plenty of revenue. What it also has is a potentially fatal weakness: no platform with user-based leverage. Instead Microsoft is betting that a future of open-source, cloud-based applications that exist independent of platforms will be a large-and-increasing share of the future, and that there is room in that future for a company to win by offering a superior user experience for developers directly, not simply exerting leverage on them.

This, by the way, is precisely why Microsoft is the best possible acquirer for GitHub, a company that, having raised $350 million in venture capital, was not going to make it as an independent entity.

Update (2018-06-06): Alex Sherman and Jordan Novet (via Hacker News):

Representatives from Alphabet’s Google were also talking to the company about an acquisition in recent weeks, according to people familiar with the deal talks.

The talks for GitHub went on for several weeks, according to several other people familiar with the process, but at the end the auction was not close, suggesting Microsoft’s bid was high enough to keep Google at bay. GitHub has, in the past, also attracted takeover interest from companies such as Amazon, according to people familiar with the matter.

Update (2018-06-07): Paul Ford (via Hacker News):

GitHub represents a big Undo button for Microsoft, too. For many years, Microsoft officially hated open source software. The company was Steve Ballmer turning bright colors, sweating through his shirt, and screaming like a Visigoth. But after many years of ritual humiliation in the realms of search, mapping, and especially mobile, Microsoft apparently accepted that the 1990s were over. In came Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella, who not only likes poetry and has a kind of Obama-esque air of imperturbable capability, but who also has the luxury of reclining Smaug-like atop the MSFT cash hoard and buying such things as LinkedIn Corp. Microsoft knows it’s burned a lot of villages with its hot, hot breath, which leads to veiled apologies in press releases. “I’m not asking for your trust,” wrote Nat Friedman, the new CEO of GitHub who’s an open source leader and Microsoft developer, on a GitHub-hosted web page when the deal was announced, “but I’m committed to earning it.”

Reddit (via Hacker News):

I’m Nat Friedman, future CEO of GitHub. AMA.

Update (2018-06-08): See also: Exponent.

Update (2018-06-12): The Linux Foundation (Hacker News):

So what does this mean for open source? I expect generally good things. Microsoft has the means and the expertise to make GitHub better. They brought in Nat Friedman as GitHub’s CEO, someone I have known for years and has been well-respected in the open source community for a couple decades.

Update (2018-06-18): Helge Heß:

Given the recent events you may look down and acknowledge that you have been wrong when hosting unencrypted data on the Clown. It looked so convenient and they wouldn’t dare to touch your data and loose all credibility. The rest is history. Let’s take the shame but move on: git-remote-gcrypt.

2 Comments

Buys popcorn stock, settles down to enjoy epic lulz streaming out of “Micro$haft” haterz, still boogeying like it’s 1995.

..

Really, this sounds like a solid deal for both parties.

GitHub Inc gets to pay back its VCs before their patience goes and they start to sharpen their knives. MS understands its days leading the pack are over; it must now remake itself into the next IBM, making a quiet but decent living as the essential glue holding everyone else's #KewlStuff together.

This way, MS adds GH to its corporate products and services portfolio; revenue from all of those shiny new corporate MS customers provides for GH’s bottom line. Plus MS gets to offload some of its overpriced stock while the timing is good. (Albeit for some other overpriced stock, but no doubt their accountancy wizards know how to weave plenty of alchemical tax-break gold out of that.)

..

As for the tedious FOSS/anti-MS whiners: had they really wanted GitHub to stay independent that much, they had plenty time to buy it themselves. All mouth no money, as per fricking usual.

Business is the Big Boys game. Little children always expecting lollipops are free to play elsewhere.

GitLab: “This is validation of the growing influence of software developers in the world”

Hurr-durr. And they say that as if it’s a good thing!

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“Humankind will never be free until the last full-commission salesman is strangled with the entrails of the last software developer.”—Denis Diderot (paraphrased)

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