Microsoft buys GitHub for $7.5 billion in stock

“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.”

Read more in the full article here.

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.


    1. Apple doesn’t need to change much. Quite a lot of the underlying code in MacOS is open-source, such as the Free-BSD kernel and Apache, to name just two. ( See ) Apple has had a history of making internally developed software open source, which was the case with Swift, Webkit, and Bonjour. The GUI and features that tie it to the hardware remain proprietary. Tying it to the hardware frustrates homebrewers, but it means that ordinary mortals aren’t trapped in compatibility hell and Apple doesn’t get a bad name for other computer company’s design farts.

  1. Or…another affirmation that Microsoft has absolutely no clue about a vision or strategy and is just making one hapless acquisition after another.

    Well I guess they’re finally admitting their own software sucks and open-source is better than Windoze

    1. I understand the sentiment. Steve Ballmer’s residue clings drippingly to the beast. But, I’m alerted quietly, on a fairly regular basis of MS’s recouping. Yes, their stores are often inhabited by more employees than customers (can’t confirm present day stats), their phones suck, tablets were overrated, but….Their stock has been ripping it, not in a flash-in-pan way, but measured and sure. Growth has beaten AAPL in the last 3 years, but a decent %. “Seeing” that Windows is a carcass and embracing open source is pretty telling and would be hopeful for investors. This is to say nothing of their focus on VR, AI.

  2. Another dumb acquisition by Microsoft Git-Hub is nothing special (no profit), and is now dead, all that code such as it is will now relocate to other places.

    1. Your question isn’t clear.
      Patent what code?
      Also, you cannot patent code. You can patent a method implemented in software. Perhaps you were trying to ask whether Microsoft could copyright code written by others? The answer to that is “no.”

      Disclaimer: I’m a lawyer, but not yours.

  3. I’m not sure what they’ll do with GitHub and I hope they don’t wreck it.

    they are def moving in different directions lately, and windows isn’t dead. It’s Azure now, they still want you running windows, they just want you running it in the cloud.

    I like that they have embraced open source more and gone back to being a developer for multiple platforms.

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