Microsoft is looking to the past to secure the future. Only in recent years has Microsoft been dipping its toes into open-source software. Despite being originally founded by Bill Gates through the development of open-source code geared towards hobbyists, Microsoft transitioned to internally developed, and closed-source code throughout the years. This obviously served them well, as Microsoft is worth almost $300billion as a company.
It was just announced that Microsoft will be acquiring GitHub. Functioning as a community where developers can collaborate on open-source code, GitHub has been struggling in recent years. They have been without a CEO for the better part of a year, and have been losing money for even longer. In 2017, the company toyed with the idea of hosting in initial public offering (IPO). This never transpired, and led to the current sale to Microsoft. The deal is expected to be announced in the coming days, and is believed to be for roughly $7.5billion USD. This deal is being completed under the charge of current Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. To date, Nadella’s largest acquisition was LinkedIn, purchased by Microsoft in 2016 for $26billion
This deal is relevant to the cryptocurrency community, because a lot of the development of the Bitcoin source code takes place by its core developers on GitHub. More so than most other cryptocurrencies, the core developers of BTC are very ideological. They believe in decentralization and a democratic functioning currency, without the oversight of a central authority. With the GitHub acquisition, the community is in a state of unrest because they do not want to contribute to a corporation. It has even led to Bitcoin Core developers publicly speaking out, promoting the migration of developers away from GitHub.
Some also believe that despite the hefty total, Microsoft might simply be planning on slowly closing down GitHub services. In October of 2017, we saw Microsoft shut down CodePlex. Owned by Microsoft at the time, CodePlex was a service offering similar functionality to that of GitHub. Those that do not believe Microsoft has good intentions believe that GitHub will slowly be phased out, as Microsoft gets rid of an open-source competitor in the software development industry.
Since the writing of this article, GitHub has released an official announcement on their acquisition by Microsoft. The statement can be found on their blog HERE.
In the blog post, Co-Founder Chris Wanstrath stated, “What hasn’t changed, however, is our focus on the developer. From the beginning, we have been obsessed with building a product for the people using it. We want to make developers more productive and we want morepeople to become developers. From “Code to Cloud and Code to Edge”, GitHub’s mission is to help every developer – regardless of experience level –learn, code, and ship software effectively.”