MICROSOFT IS EXPECTED to announce its acquisition code repository Github in what is likely to be a $2bn deal.
The news, which we’re expecting to be confirmed today after initial Bloomberg reports on Sunday night, has been the source of rumours since Friday. It would see Microsoft take control of a platform that goes against the entire ethos that made it the behemoth it is today.
GitHub has billions of lines of code available for open source distribution and forking, and these will now come under the auspices of a company that has until very recently been actively hostile to open source.
Since Satya Nadella took over the reigns of Microsoft, that stance has softened with large swathes of the .NET runtime and various other products being made available for the first time, whilst Windows 10 is now capable of supporting a simultaneous Linux runtime. Windows itself, however, remains closed source and it is highly unlikely that this will change.
It is understood that GitHub consciously chose to be acquired rather than launch an IPO and Nadella’s attitude was said to be part of the reason for selecting Microsoft.
Nevertheless, Nadella is one man, and many of his policies, particularly surrounding the companies hero products like Windows and Office, are deeply divisive (understatement). Plus, if someone else takes the reigns at Microsoft, there’s no guarantee that they won’t simply undo everything down the line, and what then for GitHub?
Conversely, of course, pre-Nadella, Microsoft wasn’t working, and its embracing of open source has probably saved it from complete irrelevance. To paraphrase your racist uncle: “If it wasn’t for him we’d all be speaking Unix now”.
Meanwhile, GitHub, which celebrated its 10th birthday recently, lost $66m in nine months during 2016 and has been searching for a new CEO for the past nine months. So whilst the news has come as something of a shock to most, negotiations are said to have been in progress for some time, first for a partnership and then more recently a full acquisition.µ
So we probably ought to give this news some sort of chance to play out – after all, it’s a decision that clearly hasn’t been taken lightly.
This is a breaking story which will be updated throughout the day. µ
Source : Inquirer