Microsoft to acquire Github??

Microsft is currently in negotiations to acquire. Github. Github, it’s the place where we all store our code, all our open source code.

I was actually quite shocked. There is this article. The first thing that I was surprised by was that Microsoft has bean negotiations with Github for quite some time. If they do buy Github then it could possibly change the world of open source. Almost everybody I know stores their code on Github. There are a few other places where you can store your code, for example, bitbucket, but the main code depository in the world is definitely Github.

If this acquisition actually goes through - I was trying to understand what would this actually mean? Microsoft would now have acess to every single line of code - which if you come to think of it - it actually quite a frightening thought. Bloody scary!! All the insights into the code, everything, the options are pretty much endless. Yes of course there will be terms, stating what exactly they can do with all this data, what data they will have access to and what they will keep private. We are wary of big brother and our privacy - but entrusting all our code to a potential competitor?

Microsoft has traditionally been percieved as the arch-villian of opensource. But that has changed. Microsoft has become one of the biggest open source contributors in the world, largely because of the visual studio code but they also contribute a good number of other opensource projects. There is a culture change within Microsoft, where the direction has become opensource first, and if you don’t do open source and you have to justify why this is not the case. I was personally was exposed to this transformation for a few days where I spent at the Microsoft mothership a couple of weeks ago. I participated in a number of briefings from several leading architects, project managers and product managers within the company and was actually pleasantly that they are becoming an open source company themselves.

So the consequences of such an acquisition are not yet clear to me. For the Github people I have to say “Good for you a huge exit, enjoy the fame, the glory that comes with being bought out by Microsoft”. Whatever the numbers may be (two - five billion dollars) is not a small sum. For the rest of people in the world who are using Github this might be a difficult situation. There are not very many neutral places like Switzerland left around in the world and definitely not many neutral places like Github left around in the software world any more.

Everybody has an edge. They might not say that they have alterior motives, but it is all about providing revenue for your company. Not to mention what this edge will give Microsoft as a cloud provider that now has access to the biggest code repositry in the world and a huge developer base which can now tie in conveniently to Azure.. The conspiracy theories and reactions on social media - are really amusing…

Something to think about..

Let me ask you readers of my blog. If Microsoft were to acquire Github, would you continue storing your code in a Microsoft owned repository? Yes or no ?

Feel free to leave your comments and thoughts below.