GitHub and Microsoft - did you hear?

3 min read
Jun 6, 2018

Open-Source, GitHub and Microsoft. If I heard that during the Ballmer era of Microsoft, I'd ask if it was April 1st or not. If you are not a Microsoft junkie or just been busy working, you may not have heard the buzz over the last few days. Sunday afternoon rumors started circling on various social media and news sites that Microsoft was going to acquire GitHub. This phrase alone stirred up many things on Twitter from excitement to a bit of hatred. Monday comes around and this is posted on Twitter by GitHub and Microsoft: That alone caused some folks to high-tail it to other services. I have one competitor to GitHub, called GitLab, had quite a hit after these announcements hit Twitter: Some of those are likely in the group of "hate Microsoft no matter what", while others may not fully understand how good this acquisition could turn out. The mindset around Microsoft I think overall is changing with folks but there are some hardcore groups that are not going to let it go. Satya Nadella's new leadership and the changes he has been making with Microsoft for their customers does not surprise a lot of that this acquisition happened. It is a general progression with the amount of projects Microsoft has hosted on GitHub that they want to make a stronger investment into the platform and service. In the announcement, once the acquisition is completed they stated that Nat Friedman will become the CEO of GitHub. Friendman is an individual that has been involved in open-source since the beginning of his career and is an individual that will only make GitHub stronger. Microsoft has been working on improving their services and products around developers and making sure they have the best tools. They are improving the tools offered whether you are developing for the Microsoft platform or wanting cross-platform support. As an Microsoft MVP, I have been able to see this first hand interacting with the teams at Microsoft. I don't believe Microsoft is going to do anything with GitHub and rush in to make detrimental changes. Friendman and Nadella, I think will both work to ensure the platform only grows and improves.

GitHub Platform Offerings

GitHub brings two platforms that they have produced. These both have a strong user base and the community support around them is very strong.

Atom Editor

This is an open-source developer tool, has been a round for 7-8 years now. Microsoft's Visual Studio Code (VS Code) is similar in nature, both open-source developer tools and expanded by extensions/packages. I do not see Microsoft getting rid of this at all just because they have VS Code. They are both open-source projects hosted on GitHub and both have a strong following/community. Even if a choice is made to put focus elsewhere, being that Atom is still an open-source project there is nothing preventing the community that loves it from becoming maintainers for it. Microsoft is not against appointing a community maintainer on projects either, Christoph Bergmeister was recently appointed as one for PSScriptAnalyzer PowerShell module.

Electron platform

This platform was a game changer for many companies and developers. Microsoft went head first into this platform and was used to build VS Code as a cross-platform product (for free). The acquisition can only help make this platform stronger and potentially become more wide spread in Microsoft products. I'm excited to see where they take this one in particular.

To the future

There is no telling where Microsoft and GitHub will be going in the next years. I believe it is a good move considering how much Microsoft has invested on the GitHub platform and will only grow from here. Who knows what will come out of this acquisition:

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