What do you think of Microsoft buying GitHub?
Microsoft is acquiring GitHub, that’s a given. It’s time to talk about the elephant in the room and that is the impact this very expensive purchase will have on the open source community. Will you stick around or are you switching away from GitHub?
This is painful to watch. Microsoft announced the acquisition of GitHub less than 24 hours ago but developers have already divided into two categories: those who think this very expensive purchase will have a positive impact on both Microsoft and GitHub and those who are already looking into GitHub alternatives.
There’s even a petition to stop Microsoft from buying GitHub which has been signed by over 1.000 people; not to mention that a lot of developers are tweeting their dissatisfaction with the latest developments and are actively looking for alternatives. GitLab seems to be the most viable option.
— Nick Morrott (@nickmorrott) June 3, 2018
— Magnus Hammar (@magnushammar) June 3, 2018
In early June, GitLab published a video on how to migrate from GitHub to GitLab, along with a quick guide.
Speaking of Bitbucket, here’s what Sean Regan, head of growth for software teams at Atlassian, has to say about their product:
We compete with Microsoft across many products, and have been very successful with a unique bottoms-up business model. We invest heavily in R&D to build great products that customers choose to use instead of being forced to. We combine this with low prices and ease of use. As a result, Atlassian is a recognized name in the developer community, and Jira is the number one tool used by agile teams. Bitbucket, our GitHub competitor, is used by tens of thousands of customers, including over 60 of the Fortune 100.
If you want to read more about why developers choose Bitbucket over GitHub, check out this blog post.
Now the question is: What’s really the problem? Is it Microsoft or is it the fact that GitHub has been acquired? A lot of developers have stated that they simply won’t accept that their projects are on a platform that belongs to a big corporation, no matter if we’re talking about Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Oracle or other tech giants.
We’re seeing 10x the normal daily amount of repositories #movingtogitlab https://t.co/7AWH7BmMvM We’re scaling our fleet to try to stay up. Follow the progress on https://t.co/hN0ce379SC and @movingtogitlab
— GitLab (@gitlab) June 3, 2018
Even though a lot of people are moving to platforms such as GitLab, it is highly unlikely that everyone will take their toys and go home. We shouldn’t forget that Microsoft was the largest contributor to open source on GitHub, according to last year’s Octoverse report. They also open-sourced the .NET framework and the Windows 10 platform is built on open-source PWA technology.
Truth be told, it’s difficult to believe that Microsoft’s love-hate relationship with open source (need I remind you of Steve Ballmer’s “Linux is a cancer” attitude?) won’t have an impact on GitHub in the long-term. However, Nadella told CNBC’s Squawk Alley yesterday that “we are all in on open source, and that’s what really brings us together with GitHub”.
Microsoft’s move to acquire GitHub is a smart business decision and speaks to the massive strategic value of developer platforms and solutions. Satya Nadella has so far done a great job dropping the Windows religion to embrace the reality of the iOS, Android, Linux and multi-cloud world, which he will hopefully continue with the GitHub community. By putting Nat Friedman (former CEO & co-founder of Xamarin) in place as a technical CEO, Microsoft is sending a clear message that they’re committed to GitHub and the larger developer ecosystem.
Perhaps it’s a good thing that GitHub will have access to Microsoft’s deep pockets, especially since they were losing money, as Bloomberg reported two years ago. Only time will tell if this was a wise move for GitHub but we’d really like to know what you think of Microsoft buying GitHub.