A move on the enterprise market

GitHub releases Metro-style Windows client amid rumours of $800m funding round

GitHub, the “social coding” site that has done much to popularise the distributed version control system (DVCS) Git over the last half-decade, has released a graphical client for Windows. The app, which features a UI in Microsoft’s much-hyped ‘Metro’ style, runs on Windows 7, Windows 8 Consumer Preview, Vista and even the aging XP, still a popular choice in slow-moving enterprise environments.

Indeed, it’s the enterprise market which seems to have driven the client’s development, with GitHub aiming to expand its influence beyond the early-adopting ‘hackerati’ of open source devs and freelancers. It’s telling that the logo for the app wears a Windows-branded polo shirt tucked into jeans -- with the release announcement asking questions like “Turned off by command line utilities and setting up SSH keys?”, it makes no attempt to be cool. At least the designers have avoided the socks-and-sandals cliché.

GitHub for Windows comes at an auspicious time for the company, with PandoDaily reporting rumours of an upcoming $500m-$800m funding round led by Andreessen Horowitz. Given the close relationship between Pando and Marc Andreesseen (i.e. a healthy $2.5m angel round), we’re inclined to believe their “sources”. GitHub currently boasts 55 employees in its San Francisco offices and its user base keeps on growing, with the company having hit the one million mark back in September.

Zero Turnaround’s recent 2012 Developer Productivity Report showed that Git still has some way to go in at least one enterprise environment, scoring 33% to Subversion’s 66% in popularity among Java EE developers. But as new projects emerge and huge existing code bases such as PHP are migrated, usage is bound to skyrocket -- and where Git goes, GitHub is sure to follow.

Louis Goddard

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