“Microsoft Corp. said it reached an agreement to buy GitHub Inc., the code repository company popular with many software developers, for $7.5 billion in stock,” Dina Bass, Eric Newcomer, and Mark Bergen report for Bloomberg. “The deal will add to Microsoft’s operating income in its fiscal year 2020, the company said in a statement Monday. Microsoft expects the deal to close by the end of 2018.”
“The acquisition provides a way forward for San Francisco-based GitHub, which has been trying for nine months to find a new chief executive officer and has yet to make a profit from its popular service that allows coders to share and collaborate on their work,” Bass, Newcomer, and Bergen report. “It also helps Microsoft, which is increasingly relying on open-source software, to add programming tools and tie up with a company that has become a key part of the way Microsoft writes its own software.”
“Microsoft’s origin story lies in the market for software-development tools, with co-founders Bill Gates and Paul Allen focused on giving hobbyists a way to program a new micro-computer kit,” Bass, Newcomer, and Bergen report. “But that vision of software tools was applied very differently under both Gates and former Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer, who championed developers building proprietary software for Microsoft, not the kind of open-source projects found on GitHub.”
“In fact, in the early 2000s, Ballmer and his team were highly critical of that kind of a project, calling it a ‘cancer’ and saying that it went against ‘the American Way.’ Open-source software allows developers to tinker with, improve upon and share code — an approach that threatened Microsoft’s business model,” Bass, Newcomer, and Bergen report. “A lot has changed since then, and under current CEO Satya Nadella, Microsoft is supporting many flavors of Linux and has used open-source models on some significant cloud and developer products itself. This deal will mark another dramatic step in that direction.”
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MacDailyNews Take: Yet another affirmation that Microsoft recognizes very clearly that Windows is not the future, just the dismal past, and that The Dark Age of Personal Computing is over.