Should I stay or should I go, GitHub edition

What do you think of Microsoft buying GitHub?

Gabriela Motroc
© Shutterstock / Samadova

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.

In early June, GitLab published a video on how to migrate from GitHub to GitLab, along with a quick guide.

Although Gitlab seems to be everyone’s favorite, other top alternatives include Bitbucket, SourceForge, Gitea and GitBucket, to name a few.

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.

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.

SEE ALSO: It’s official: A new era for GitHub is about to begin

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”.

And there are a lot of people who think that Microsoft’s move was a “smart business decision.” Here’s what Jyoti Bansal, co-founder & CEO of BIG Labs and Harness thinks of the acquisition:

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.

Gabriela Motroc
Gabriela Motroc was editor of and JAX Magazine. Before working at Software & Support Media Group, she studied International Communication Management at the Hague University of Applied Sciences.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
John Turner
John Turner
2 years ago

Nick Morrot’s twitter post is sexist and not appropriate on your website. Surely, you could have found a better tweet to include the article?

John Turner
John Turner
Reply to  Gabriela Motroc
2 years ago

Gabriela, Thanks for replying. We have a talent shortage in our industry, and women are under represented. May be you could use illustrations that are more encouraging for women in the future? Thanks, John

Reply to  John Turner
2 years ago

Why is it sexist? Does any photo featuring a woman and a man triggers you?

Dave Watts
Dave Watts
2 years ago

Wow, why do I get such a sense of a “hate” of Microsoft from the author? Two thirds of the article focus on giving everyone every alternative git repo in the world, sharing instructions on how to migrate from github, and then at the very end asking what we all think. Well thanks for asking and being so un-biased about it! I’m actually happy about the news, Github needed the cash.