Microsoft to buy coding site GitHub for $7.5 billion

Microsoft to buy coding site GitHub for $7.5 billion

Microsoft have announced an agreement to acquire GitHub, the software development platform and web-based hosting service for version control using Git.

In total, more than 28 million developers now share over 85 million code repositories on GitHub, and Microsoft wants to come closer to this incredible community, supporting devs at "every stage of the development lifecycle - from ideation to collaboration to deployment to the cloud".

"GitHub will retain its developer-first ethos and will operate independently to provide an open platform for all developers in all industries", today's announcement reads.

Microsoft CEO Nadella has been moving the company away from hesitations with open-source software development and investing more heavily in resources like GitHub.

The deal, experts say, will strengthen the company's relationship with developers and allow its tools to reach a broader audience within the ecosystem of open-source software.

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Just six months ago, Github was reported to be in the process of exploring a potential IPO, though it has yet to turn a profit to date, with the company's last valuation coming in at $2bn (£1.5bn) in 2015. Now, as a big contributor to GitHub, offering support for many flavours of Linux, and contributing to some significant cloud and developer products, Microsoft is a totally different beast.

Microsoft's vice president of developer services, Nat Friedman, will become the new head of GitHub. It's paying a significant sum to make GitHub a Microsoft brand, too. Primary among them is the likelihood that competitors to Microsoft would move their code repositories off GitHub, diminishing its value as a community. In taking on GitHub, which has yet to turn a profit, Microsoft is hoping to re-build trust with the developer community and expand the adoption of the Github platform with larger, legacy enterprises that already use Microsoft's software and services. "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 flawless person to help GitHub grow and continue to make life better for developers".

GitHub's co-founder and current CEO, Chris Wanstrath, will join Microsoft as a technical fellow to work on software initiatives. Founded in 2008, GitHub hosts 27 million software developers working on 80 million repositories of code.

As Bloomberg reports, Microsoft is believed to have acquired GitHub.

Shares of Microsoft are up 19% since the beginning of 2018.

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