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What's your opinion on Microsoft's GitHub Acquisition?

dance2die profile image Sung M. Kim ・1 min read

UPDATE 2018/06/04
Microsoft confirms the acquisition.

The Verge just reported that Microsoft has reportedly acquired GitHub.

What's your opinion about it?

Some of the questions I can think of for the discussion are

And also,
Gnome has recently moved to GitLab.

  • Would you keep using GitHub? or consider alternatives such as GitLab, BitBucket, etc?

I am wondering about how you think about this "supposed" acquisition.

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Sung M. Kim


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This is a great move. Microsoft has been great at OSS for many years and they want to integrate with everything. No longer are they driven by the "three Es" they did in the 90s and early 2000s. Their share price is at the highest it's ever been.

Microsoft isn't going to buy GitHub and ruin it. And let's face it Microsoft is the better choice in buying it compared with Oracle, IBM or even Facebook. Hell they're a better option than Google considering Google's latest mantra of developing for Chrome before others.

GitHub has stagnated for years. GitLab is far more capable and GitHub ignores community requests. This can only be a good thing for GitHub.


Skype wasn't that great to begin with but that was also a long time ago. To bring it up ignores everything they've done in the past 5 years in OSS.

What about Mono? Microsoft bought Xamarin and it's gotten incredibly better and that's a closer parallel because it was a development platform. Heck, even Mojang and its products have gotten way better and more stable.

Microsoft's OSS initiatives have been fantastic for a while now. I don't understand the knee jerk reactions of "I have to move my code immediately!". Even if Microsoft's ultimate goal is to set GitHub on fire you'd have years before it happens, realistically.

It did take Microsoft a long time to burn CodePlex down to the ground.

CodePlex was already dying. Same as code.google.com ...

Skype WAS GREAT before microsoft buying it. !

And also TeamViewer WAS GREAT before you know..


Git and Github are two different things. You dont have to move to Fossil to move from Github.


LinkedIn's been going well since Microsoft's acquisition, as have Xamarin and Mojang. Xamarin is the most relevant example here (since they're a dev-focused company) and Microsoft's handling of that acquisition has been great. They open-sourced some stuff, and bundled Xamarin's mobile dev tools for free with Visual Studio (whereas they used to cost extra on top of VS)


Skype, Skype... that's all I hear. Ok, they ruined Skype, do we have nothing left? Don't we have much better alternatives? Who cares about Skype? Just use a better alternative I'm sure each one of you can name. And if they will ruin GH, so what? Everything and everyone will just move to a better place and call it a day.


They are doing something really bad with Skype on Windows though I think. They're trying to force us to use that new Windows 10 style version that's super slow, and not allowing us to use emoji reactions if we're using classic Skype.


different era, different leadership my friend. Todays' MSFT is a far better Open Source proponent than compared to any other big tech giants including Google.


Thanks Kris for mentioning Google, Oracle, Facebook etc as I don't have a deep knowledge on how they are with the open source community.

I do believe that MS is trying hard not to become the next IBM and MS is working hard to get more involved in the open source community.


MS is the biggest corporate contributor to GitHub so this made a lot of sense

The company contribute for the OS or for the plataform, I think you injured...


I really agree with you about the latest contributions from Microsoft and maybe it really is better to buy Microsoft from the platform but I really would like to understand why?


Why Microsoft has been making massive OS contributions or why github sold out?

The first, linux market, and the fact that Microsoft is a massive cloud company. You don't get neckbeards to buy what you're selling without an investment in your public image.

The latter, VC funders saw an offer that was overmarket and beyond their projections. /Game


Everyone is talking about open source, but what about all those software companies that paid GitHub to keep their repositories private? Now GitHub had sold access to that code to a potential (if not already current) competitor that has enough resources to put them out of business. I would consider this a serious breach of trust.

This is not a healthy situation, even if MS turns out to be a good steward of GitHub's legacy.


MS wouldn’t breach that trust because it would kill the service instantly. This happens all over industry. Netflix is hosted on AWS yet Amazon has Prime Video


Big companies would never breach the trust of its users. Isn't that right, Facebook?

Microsoft is far better than the likes of Facebook

Absolutely, especially when the users were blind and just skipped all requests for permissions and agreements until Facebook did what it had been doing before but for the wrong political party and the people in power pulled some strings to get the media to kindly explain to the users that their trust war breached. "Hey, guys, remember that agreement you signed up to without even reading? We're telling you that's all Facebook's fault now go and burn it to the ground".


It's always a risk decision to put source code in the hands of a 3rd party. Here in GBG, right now we have a significant amount of code in Bitbucket on premise, and in VSTS in the cloud. We did due diligence reviews and chose /not/ to use Github, or Gitlab, or any other cloud hosted SCM aside from VSTS a couple of years ago, mostly due to the information security risks they presented at the time: lack of redundancy for Github (now fixed), contractual issues with Gitlab, lack of multi-factor authentication support for Bitbucket in Atlassian cloud (also now fixed). We /do/ have a public Github organisation, for public working with collaborators (early days BTW!) for such things as maintaining API wrapper libraries. Even there, Github is not master, it's a public clone of selected source code.

Other large orgs (including the other big players) all have Github accounts, and use them for similar things, in similar ways to us, open source work with communities of interested parties to help sell their actual value-delivering products (eg: AWS templates, Mulesoft API samples, etc.)

Microsoft have very little to gain by pushing these things away (there are several perfectly workable alternatives after all so it's not going to dent the other orgs collaboration, just generate legal pain), and they are unlikely to have access to the 'crown-jewels' intellectual property of serious competitors, unless said competitor really didn't do much risk assessment. Even then, it would be a direct breach of contract if such access occurred, and likely a PR nightmare in a social media world.

I'm pretty happy with this from a day job POV, and personally it really doesn't make much difference, I have no private repos to worry about.


Companies should use enterprise Github for that exact reason. They get a system from Github to set up internally, all code stays internal. Github doesn't see any of it. Smaller companies/startups may not have the cash for enterprise github vs private repos I guess, I'm not sure about the cost comparison, but from an security of IP standpoint, that's a move you have to make if you want to use Github and you're a company/startup of any size.


Why not use self-hosted Gitlab then ?

The self-hosted community system has all paid Gitlab features (except that you have to host it yourself), including CI/CD, Registry etc.

I agree that Gitlab, and even Bitbucket, offer more enterprise features/value than GitHub does. But in terms of the comment above about Microsoft owning/seeing the code from enterprises' private repositories, I was commenting that enterprise should all be on enterprise GitHub where GitHub - or Microsoft soon - have no visibility.


MSFT already has tons of competitors' data through OneDrive, O365, Azure, not to mention VSTS... There is literally no way they would breach that trust, not because of any ethical concerns, but because the strength of their brand is that their sales people can call your CIO or CSO and someone will loosen the purse strings and renew your O365 contract for another 3 years. If they destroy that relationship it will basically be the end of microsoft.


This is Microsoft coming completely full circle on open source.

MS has some major open source projects already on GitHub and this will give them the corporate alignment to go even further in this direction.

GitHub logo microsoft / vscode

Visual Studio Code

Visual Studio Code - Open Source ("Code - OSS")

Build Status Feature Requests Bugs Gitter

The Repository

This repository ("Code - OSS") is where we (Microsoft) develop the Visual Studio Code product. Not only do we work on code and issues here, we also publish our roadmap, monthly iteration plans, and our endgame plans. The source code here is available to everyone under the standard MIT license.

Visual Studio Code

VS Code in action

Visual Studio Code is a distribution of the Code - OSS repository with Microsoft specific customizations released under a traditional Microsoft product license.

Visual Studio Code combines the simplicity of a code editor with what developers need for their core edit-build-debug cycle. It provides comprehensive code editing, navigation, and understanding support along with lightweight debugging, a rich extensibility model, and lightweight integration with existing tools.

Visual Studio Code is updated monthly with new features and bug fixes. You can download it for…

GitHub logo microsoft / TypeScript

TypeScript is a superset of JavaScript that compiles to clean JavaScript output.


Join the chat at https://gitter.im/microsoft/TypeScript Build Status VSTS Build Status npm version Downloads

TypeScript is a language for application-scale JavaScript. TypeScript adds optional types to JavaScript that support tools for large-scale JavaScript applications for any browser, for any host, on any OS. TypeScript compiles to readable, standards-based JavaScript. Try it out at the playground, and stay up to date via our blog and Twitter account.


For the latest stable version:

npm install -g typescript

For our nightly builds:

npm install -g typescript@next


There are many ways to contribute to TypeScript.

This project has adopted the Microsoft Open Source Code of Conduct. For more information see the Code of


Those are all projects under Microsoft’s rule. Name some OSS where Microsoft is a good citizen. The GVFS issue is a clear example of ol’ Microsoft behavior. I am not convinced MS will not push GVFS down peoples throats via github and there by embrace, extend, and extinguish Git.


How is GVFS a bad thing?

Microsoft Engineers spent time with GitHub Engineers to build the Git Virtual File System, because Microsoft needed to use GIT as a version control for really large repositories like that of Windows which is about 300GB.

Standard GIT was unusable for such sizes.

Changes made during this development have been gradually added to standard GIT over time. gvfs.io


1) GVFS has been Gnome Virtual File System for a really long time, and this poses a naming conflict. Microsoft's response is pretty much PR nonsense and they ignore this issue.

2) Microsoft finds Git's rule about backwards compatibility troublesome. If they can, they will violate this rule and break Git repositories when they feel like.

3) GVFS is pretty much Windows-only.

4) GVFS is Microsoft's thing, not a git community thing. They have shown no interesting in working together to create a solution everybody feels happy with. It's GVFS or GTFO.

Edit: it looks like MS starting to address #1

GVFS for Mac < blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/devops/20... > ... interesting!

Anyone use GVFS for Windows 10? Smooth sailing, or rough around the edges?


Node.JS and OCI are projects where MS seems to be behaving nicely. And unless your project is very large, I'm not sure how GVFS is even a concern for you.

It might concern me when GitHub is going to require Microsoft's version of Git, which isn't fully compatible with the standard Git.
GitHub already announced that they are going to adopt Microsoft's Git Virtual File System. This feels a lot like the Embrace and Extend.

What "Microsoft's version of Git" are you referring to here? It can't be GVFS, because that's a virtual file system driver that's separate from the git protocol and repository.

This one: github.com/Microsoft/git
The recommended install when you are going to install GVFS, also the only one which Microsoft tests with GVFS.


WOAH, those GitHub unfurl links are 👌


VS code just came out of nowhere and being loved.
It seems like those two main projects are being worked on well with the community


I really loathe the idea that GitHub is now a Microsoft thing. I don't want to think that my OSS contributions are now hosted thanks to a kind concession by Microsoft.

It would be the same if it was Google, or Apple, or IBM, whatever, of course. I liked the fact that so much of OSS, even from giants, could find its home in an independent platform. Well, not anymore.

Moreover: what is Microsoft going to do with GitHub? What does it want to gain from its acquisition? Surely it's not because it wants to make a pretty penny with GitHub's private repos business.

I might consider moving to GitLab for my next projects.


Thanks Massimo for the feedback.

Would you like to share how OSS could be affected with GitHub under MS's management/"concession"?


I'm confident that it mostly won't change a thing.

I don't think Microsoft will make GitHub worse in terms of usability, availability, reliability. I believe it won't be ruined like Skype, and it will stay free for all open source projects, forever.

And yes, Microsoft has been very good to OSS recently

But that's not the whole story. I have this hunch that some OSS contributors, even a couple of big ones, will move from GitHub nonetheless, for the reasons I explained in my comment. Microsoft will own all of GitHub's accounts, let's not forget it, and a gentle grasp is still a grasp.

Now, said grasp is very different if it's from a company whose core business is providing a reliable platform for developers, and cannot do anything foolish with it; and a leviathan like Microsoft, for which $2bn are like pocket change, and has no real reason to monetize on GitHub the way GitHub has done so far. So, there must be another reason: is it really Satya Nadella's good heart?

We still don't know what Microsoft will do about GitHub, but so far, as common developers, there's nothing much to improve but there's a lot to ruin. Yes, of course GitHub was financially troubled so we could lose everything, but this isn't the conclusion I hoped for.

Not to mention there are a couple of projects by GitHub that are in direct competition with Microsoft's similar solutions. Namely Atom (which has lost a lot of momentum to VS Code, but still a valid editor) and Gitter. And what about Electron?

I guess we all have to wait, but I'm quite annoyed at the moment.

Thanks again, @maxart2501 .

I haven't considered that GitHub had all the reason to "monetize on GitHub" while MS can let it sink.

I think the main reason is to have a better offer from a single vendor from a single provider. VSTS is an ugly monster, and the workflow in GitHub is well-known. It makes sense... the other factor is the way they can 'steer' new deployments to Azure seamlessly. if there are tools that will help you deploy from your GitHub to Azure without any hassle many developers will start deploying to Azure, giving them an edge in a clear strategic product for M$.

As for competing products, I can only hope for them to get better. VSCode was built with Electron, I see no reason for m$ to kill something like that, and PRecisely I was listening HanselMinutes, and I heard many complaints about the Hithib integrations to BaseCamp. It makes sense to get something like MSTeams to improve on that front.


Microsoft can buy Skype, LinkedIn or other products used by bilions of people. Can buy also GitHub, but is forgotting that github is first of all a community,which usually is the most difficult thing to buy, because is more than a bunch of accounts.


Thanks @deep_erx .

I am highly looking forward to whether Linux source code will stay on GitHub or not(meaning how the Linux community will react)


The linux source was never on GitHub. The repo you linked is just a mirror of torvalds moster tree. It would not even be possible to develop a software like linux on GitHub

Ah, I wasn't aware that it was just a mirror.

just out of curiosity
Would you mind sharing why it'd not be possible to develop Linux on GitHub? (because I have never been involved with such a big project before)

There are many reasons, but I think the two most important are:

  • Linux does not have a single source of truth. Yes, there is the tree of Torvalds, but thats just for the mainline development. Every company developing Linux has their own trees. They may merge commits off the Torvalds tree and vice versa, but most of the time those developments have different goals (ie Ubuntu vs embedded car media system). GitHub is too much tied to one source of truth.
  • Pull Requests. Githubs way of receiving contributions is via Pull Requests. For a development with lots of different contributors and maintainers, this does not work. A contribution to the graphics system goes through at least to levels of maintainers that provide feedback, before it goes to Linus for final merge. Having all contributions for all parts in one place would be too much.

Thank you so much.
I was able to glance at what such a huge project involves.

Having all contributions for all parts in one place would be too much.

That’s nonsense. If anything Github has a bunch of features that make it easier to keep track of forks.

The point is, a fork in the Github sense is to provide changes to thr master copy. As Linux as multiple masters, having all contributions go zo one master copy does not make sense


i don't think Microsoft can remove the Linux source code from GitHub given they are working on their own Linux distribution


If Linus has an rms-like reaction, they'll probably bolt. OTOH, there may be business reasons to stay.

The Linux on github repo is just a mirror and MS is very Linux friendly (Windows now has WSL)

Not to mention they’re a platinum member of the Linux Foundation...


This is terrible news. MS builds toxic communities, as a long time .Net dev it was horrible, one of the many reasons I refuse to do .Net work now. They also don't know how to build open source projects. They go hey, here is this thing we built, designed and got ready to release but are only now showing the code for it. That's not open source. That's we built it, you can see the code and help us fix bugs.


Thanks Kevin for the point of view I haven't considered.

I can see that Open Source doesn't really mean just sharing the source code (showing what one did) but also develop with a community.

Let's hope that MS can contribute more to the Open Source community with GitHub acquisition.


What Kevin is describing is exactly how Google develops Android. AOSP does not welcome community contributions. Microsoft has been extremely open about Roslyn & .Net Core.


I'm on the fence. Microsoft have really managed to pull off a huge culture change with respect to open source, and @krissiegel is spot on in that they're likely to be a much better steward of the project and community than any other potential corporate sponsor. If we were talking about Google or Amazon, there're good odds I'd reflexively jump ship the instant the deal was publicly confirmed; I don't like either their sheer operational scope or their data collection & usage practices (I have an Android phone, which is both exquisite fodder for irony and kind of the case in point). I'd expect Microsoft to take it seriously and make an honest go of running it, but I'm instinctively wary of GitHub losing its independence no matter what.


Thanks Dian.

It seems like MS has been making pretty good/steady progress to support open source movement compared to Google & Amazon.


Won’t be using github. A corporation can’t purchase a community and use it effectively. None of the acquisitions that MS has made were improved upon and most are all out failures. Nokia was to be their mobile savior, was just the largest tax write-off in history. Skype sucks, Yammer is getting worse, and don’t even start with share point. None of their tools seem to work on their own, let alone as a cohesive set of dev tools. Linked-in is now pay-to-play and they were a revenue loss even before they were purchased and will fade away into another write off.

Don’t be fooled by MS embracing OSS or Linux. They had to start hosting Linux platforms in order to gain 46% of their Azure business subscriptions. That was the only way they became relevant and gained enough critical mass to sustain their Azure platform. Without LInux, Azure would be another loss.
Everytime our enterprise starts using an MS devolpment toolset, everything is changed or dropped long before anything can be put into production. One of our divisions is trying to implement VSTS, while another one refuses to migrate off of TFS. A third is trying to replace github with nuget. We can’t even get the MS devs to agree on MS tools and they can’t be called effective in any way.
Linux apps running on Google chrome is a much more transformative change, especially in mobile and cloud stacks.
MS hasn’t been an effective dev platform since their failed implementation of Vista/Silverlight collapse. We’re sitting on a timebomb of legacy windows apps with no replacement or support in sight because we are not able to replace these unsupported MS technologies that have become dangerously insecure.
And we don’t see any cohesive set of cross-platform tools or hosting options, which is what OSS really promises. .Net and MS have become a Ponzi scheme of technology stacks. Empty promises, and then it’s time to move on before you realize this just isn’t working.


A third is trying to replace github with nuget

Wat? Those tools do entirely different things.


I'm just looking forward to the "Please add me to your professional repo network" emails.


I don't know the source of this but... just saw this 😜

GitHub by Microsoft


The source is Daryl Ginn


Oy. The phrasing on that ad is divisive, at best. Assuming, of course, that it is real.


And possibly let GitHub users communicate via Skype? 😜


Would you keep using GitHub?

Well I don't much use it now! I prefer Bitbucket, and my company uses them too.

GitHub for so many people seems to be synonymous with git. I think that sucks; it's like Linux and Ubuntu being the same thing. If this acquisition throws a little light on the matter and prompts people to start using other services or even hosting their own, then it's a silver lining for me. Maybe all those little apps people love won't automatically interpret dependencies of the form foo/frobulator as GitHub URLs and will show a little more consideration for others!

As other people have said, better Microsoft than Oracle. But that's firmly in the "just because something else is worse, doesn't make this thing good" category.


Thanks Ben.

The impression I got from your message is that MS was the lesser evil :)


I am sure it would require more than some acquisition in the background to push people away from GitHub. The community is too big for their members to give it up just because they don't like Microsoft. As long as Microsoft doesn't make decisions for GitHub like SourceForge did for SourceForge, people will stay there.


I am hoping that they have learned from the experience with CodePlex.

What I am worried about is how MS can have two separate services (GitHub & VSTS) that are essentially the same.

Someone in AspNetCore slack has mentioned that MS can keep GitHub as the Open Source platform while keeping VSTS as the enterprise closed source projects.

But it doesn't sound so feasible as GitHub already has a paid subscription.


It is likely that they will merge the products and either sell VSTS as a successor of GitHub Enterprise or they sell the merged product under two labels.

To lever the open source GitHub community for more involvement into their own open sourced technology hosted on GitHub and thereby recruiting open source developers for their technology would be the reason why they would keep the GitHub community alive.


GitLab is live streaming.
Talking about GitHub acquisition now. (10:13PM EST)


It's difficult to evaluate the trustworthiness and intentions of a distant party's infrastructure. Github or Microsoft. I think if a team feels they need to migrate away from github because of Microsoft's involvement, they should already have been using a self-hosted solution.


I actually had a lot to say so I wrote an entire twitter thread and posted it on Dev.to

🔥 Twitter Thread => twitter.com/MrAhmadAwais/status/10...

⚡️Dev.to() => dev.to/mrahmadawais/microsoft-gith...

Not sure if I should repost it all here in the comment? I'd let @ben decide ;)

Peace! ✌️


Thanks Ahmad.

I believe that the twitter thread & and the post gives more weight to what you are claiming 😁

I think @Microsoft is changing for good


I hope MSFT keeps getting better and better. I can't believe I'd say this but it's coming from someone who's used Windows for over ten years and then happily moved away to Linux and Mac for now what looks like more than a decade. And after all that, I find myself looking back at MSFT and everything that they are doing for Open Source now. It's an exciting time for open source.

You are right, Ahmad.
An exciting time for open source.

Especially when I see Windows Subsystems for Linux


I'm a mix. One feeling is apprehension, since I know the objective historical and technical arguments against Microsoft quite deeply. I clean up messes, old and new, from Windows on client computers. I've read the Microsoft Terms of Service inside and out, and have legal reasons to discourage people from accepting them.

The other feeling is, hmm, maybe Microsoft actually is turning over a new leaf in regards to their attitude towards open source. They did make one of their cash cows, the .NET platform, open source and Linux-compatible, which they don't stand to directly profit from. They've also helped LLVM make Clang 100% Windows compatible, so Windows developers can just use one compiler for all platforms. They've implemented the Linux Subsystem. All of those things might be to grab back some relevance from the Linux world, but they may also be attempts to bridge the gap.

Only time will tell, I suppose. Meantime, my eggs aren't all in GitHub's basket, so I can move pretty quick if I need to!


3 words

developers, developers, developers!

All of the things MS has done in the last decade (even more the last half) have been to woo developers to the platform. They know they’re sunk if no one’s developing for their OS.


That's a fair assessment. Albeit, even if they have changed their tune, they'd be doing the same thing. Not wooing developers would be suicide for anyone.

We'll have to wait and see. I'm not quick to trust Microsoft by any measure.


You read in my thoughts regarding M$ products. The worst is that they aggressively market very shoddy software products, particularly Windows. Azure is better only because most of it is running on Linux servers now.

I would like to believe in M$ sincerity but I can't when I see every moves M$ did with their deep pockets to weave their spiderweb to lock the developers (linda.com buying, linkedin.com buying then GitHub buying). That said, I'm afraid for StackOverflow.

Their open source shift is a smoke screen to enable them to lock little by little GitHub inside of their proprietary software which are costly and of questionable quality.


That's possible, but if you'll allow a MS skeptic to play devil's advocate for a moment...

If Microsoft actually did change their policy towards open source for the better, what actions would we reasonably expect from them? What they'd done so far, I believe, could easily be construed in that light as well. Consider this possible interpretation:

(1) GitHub, the cornerstone of open source, is on the brink of having to shut down. Microsoft puts their money while their mouth is, and purchases them so they can keep the platform alive and well, and out of the clutches of anti-OSS companies that would bring it harm.

(2) In order to bridge the gap between their software and Linux, they open source their entire .NET platform, and begin building Azure on Linux. They regard Linux and OSS as legitimate and worthy competitors to their software, so they choose to level the playing field; now developers don't have to choose between Windows and Linux, but can build for both, meaning that users can decide more readily between Microsoft and Linux products.

(3) To further make it easier for developers to develop for either operating system, Microsoft creates Windows Subsystem for Linux. There were plenty of options before (virtual machines, MinGW), but this provides the best performance, with minimal technical headaches. That way, Windows developers need not be ignorant or locked out of the Linux ecosystem, and parallel to (2), those same previously Windows-only developers can more easily build for multiple operating systems.

(4) Windows works directly with LLVM to get Clang working on the Microsoft platform, in place of MSVC. The stated reason is, why force developers to use different compilers on different platforms, when they can just support ONE (Clang) for ALL?

By open sourcing their work, Microsoft has literally let go of a lot of their intellectual property; developers can and will fork this source code, and it will grow beyond Microsoft's control and reach. GitHub, meanwhile, is still based on Git; if Microsoft pulled any stunts with GitHub, nearly the entire user base is in a fair way to take their marbles and leave...to, say, GitLab, BitBucket, or any number of alternatives.

In short, while MS may be smoke screening, they are also cognoscente that one wrong move could put them in a bad position, wherein they have lost .NET, Azure, the cooperation of Linux, and the entire GitHub user base (which they just paid $6.5B for. They don't want to lose that!) They'd walk away from that with less than they started with.

Of course, remember that (5) Microsoft cannot just open source everything, without obliterating their profitability. I'm not going to ask for that. Frankly, I marvel at how much they HAVE open sourced.

In short, I'm cautiously optimistic. Microsoft has shown to be untrustworthy in the past, but let's see what they do in the present. As developers, we're all in a pretty powerful position to yank the rug out from under their feet if they turn on FOSS.

P.S. As a computer technician, I agree that Windows is garbage.

We agree on many things but particularly the low quality of Windows. So I trust your judgment. They paid $7.5 billions to be exact, but for business not for charity. You want to let them a chance, that's fair, but keep your two eyes wide open!

Oh, always! I never put all my eggs in one basket. I've got accounts on GitHub, GitLab, Bitbucket, and my own locally-hosted repository platform. And I've got local copies of everything. I never completely trust any online service, on the sheer basis that anything can happen.

MS definitely paid for business, but they (probably) aren't going to want to go and drive off their whole user base.


I'm really impressed with the open-source initiative that Microsoft has taken over the last couple years so I'm cautiously optimistic.

I would love to see better Azure integration! (even though it's pretty dang good already)


Thanks Joe.

As Satya Nadella aims to go with cloud (Azure) I am looking forward to what kind of cloud integrations that GitHub can come up with (offer some free Azure credits 💰 for open source projects maybe? 😜)


Well, I'm not a big fan of corporations like Microsoft in general.

But I have to admit, they changed rather much under Nadella. I think they pretty much wrecked Skype, but that was long time ago.

I'm using VSCode and while I found the creators of TypeScript a bit too full of themselves, I have the feeling that TS is much better than Flow.

Also, I'm just hearing good stuff about the Windows subsystem for Linux, so I'm really considering switching to Windows 10 in the near future.

So, it's not the same as when Oracle bought Sun, I think.


Also, I'm just hearing good stuff about the Windows subsystem for Linux, so I'm really considering switching to Windows 10 in the near future.

Is that mainly because macbook pros are increasingly more expensive at each version :D ?


Also, seemingly they become worse at each version. :D

No, I'm using a MBP 2013 for work and it will probably do the jobs for another year or so.

I have a desktop PC running Win7 for years now, but I guess Win10 is a viable solution for a switch now :)

I honestly don't like Win10 but it could be because I'm using it once or twice a year when I have to help my parents with some issues :D

I have a MBP Mid 2012 and I dread the day it will stop working, I'll probably get the latest decent refurbished version I can find :D But maybe everything will change with the next WWDC


I think Microsoft is the best big tech company to do this (Google, Oracle, etc. would probably be worse) and if the reports are true about GitHub being almost out of cash, then it's the best deal they've got.


We are moving into a new historical age in which the organization of the world becomes cohesive. This has its good sides and bad sides. I see this move as Microsoft's attempt to stay in the game. in general this means that for open source to survive it may need to become part of some larger organization that can champion it in the upcoming age. Will Microsoft do this well? I don't know. Microsoft is probably a far better company to do this than Google, Amazon or FaceBook. If not Microsoft, the only other company in the game I can think of would have been Apple. Microsoft may be the best choice. We shall see.


I had a bad feeling back when Microsoft aquired @Wunderlist but the product never lost its identity since the acquisition. Therefore I am optimistic that it will be the same with GitHub and I will continue using it.


This makes it a remarkably sad day for me. Github is one of very few companies I genuinely like so far.

Let me share a story. I used to be a loyal Skype user for many years, and right after Mocrosoft bought them, they introduced subscriptions. They said, pick a country, pay a fixed rate every month and get unlimited calls to the chosen country. Since my girlfriend of the time was living in China, I happily paid for two years of subscription. After about 8 hours of calls in total, I get disconnected mid-call and my account is banned. I call back from my other Skype account and tell the person that I was banned, and that I need to sort ot out. As soon as I hang up the call, my second account gets banned as well.

So, I call Microsoft support and demand that they either unban or refund ~$300 in unused balance that I had across both accounts. They told me that “my network was suspected of fraud”, as well as that my accounts were “frozen” along with the balance. I was also told that investigation process would take approximately 6 months.

It’s been almost five years since then, both my accounts are still banned and I never saw my unused balance again.

The moral of the story is that Microsoft already has a track record of acquiring awesome companies and turning them into shit. It really saddens me to see that potentially happening to Github. Oh, also, getting Github accound banned for no reason and losing access to private repositories? That would be way worse than losing ~$300.

Totally going to rent an AWS box, set up Gitlab and move every last line of my code there.


Have you tried VS Code over Atom though?

I switched and haven't looked back.

When VS Code first came out I was a huge Atom fan. So much so that I complained to MS via Twitter about how VS Code was missing a few features Atom had that made it a no-go for me.

They contacted me through Twitter. Set up 2 calls on the phone to talk about my opinions. And contacted me when some of my feature requests were added.

That's pretty damn badass IMHO.


Good move on Microsoft end. But for a couple of years now I have been trying to figure out what is Microsoft place in the future. JavaScript is getting more powerful than C#. They have little to no mobile presence. Google is gaining on them with office suite. I feel like they are scrambling.


I love how I can use the "Log in with GitHub" button on basically any dev-related site. If MS forces us to use their stupid and broken Microsoft Accounts, I'm out. I'd straight up delete my account.
Otherwise, although I already prefer GitLab for my own projects, I'd happily continue contributing to projects on GitHub. It's not like MS can make GitHub any less open.

One thing that does slightly worry me, is what is going to happen to Atom and VSCode. Would MS really keep supporting two very different and both very popular editors?


Oh god no! I hadn’t thought of that. MS’s accounts are a complete nightmare.


Microsoft getting on his knees trying to blow developers and look like nice guys is just exactly the same move than Google and Facebook did. It's not honest and everything we used to hate about Microsoft is still there.

Unfortunately it seems to work...


I would prefer if they didn't, considering Microsoft's past treatment of other projects (LinkedIn, Skype).


They haven't really done much to LinkedIn besides bundling it into another product offering. LinkedIn was always really terrible. Skype was okay, so yeah agreed they ruined that. But that was also many years ago.


Yeah, if anything I think MS has had a good impact on LinkedIn (or maybe it couldn't get worse). But in general I think MS's reputation is worse than its recent moves.

Of course, there are probably still a few things to point to which could make you say "Yeah definitely still as evil or anti-user as ever"


I understand the concerns of many, but the fact is that Microsoft from today is not the same Microsoft from 10 years ago. They open sourced .NET Core, built the awesome Visual Studio Code, Typescript, Azure, and most recently the Windows Subsystem for Linux show signs they are in the right direction and more open to the community. Yes, they ruined Skype but still I think they deserve the benefit of the doubt.

On the other hand, I think GitHub has stagnated and stopped innovating. Apart from some redesigns and small improvements, what big feature they have released in last years? Compare with what GitLab is doing! Today's development workflow is not only version control. We live in the the age of Agile and Continuous Delivery and we need tools and simpler ways to do that. GitHub fell asleep and GitLab got it right and it is nowadays much better platform.

May be Microsoft could revitalize GitHub. Azure could take a big part here. They could try to do a deeper integration with Azure and AKS in a similar way GitLab is doing with GCP.

I dont like the fact these big companies like Microsoft, Google, Facebook owning everything and I would prefer GitHub to be an independent company.

We will see. Time will tell.

Nevertheless GitLab is much better option nowadays.


I will keep using Github if MS will make the move just like how they have done on LinkedIn. Github is still the biggest platform for developers managing their codes. Second, GitLab CI is a good option. If acquisition will help Github to have such a service with the resources probably from MS, do expect the acquisition happens.


I believe in FOSS a lot. So I have only one thing to watch out for, What will MS do to GitHub to endanger the FOSS community? Once I discover this, I'm out. Also if any of my favorite devs or projects move I'm out. If they change the color of GitHub I'm out. If they start with free coupons for private repos for a month,I'll stay for a month, then I'm out. A business needs to make money, buying an open source tool just means you want to monetize it some way.


I agree! They paid 7,5 G$ for business not for charity.


If this happens, I shall be hosting my own repos, or just move to GitLab.

Whatever MS does in OSS is done for the benefit of MS and not the end users. It's a business strategy and MS is a for-profit company. The minute there's a window to earn money by obscurity or access control (raising prices etc) MS will do it.

I pay 7 bucks exactly because gh was "corpo-agnostic". Now that premise is gone.


Microsoft has been opening up to the open source community for some time now so this move makes sense to them. I'm just glad it wasn't Facebook or Google, in which case I would have moved my code somewhere else.

Funny how bullies like Facebook or Amazon are making bad guys of the past like Microsoft and Walmart look benign by comparison, to the point that we're almost rooting for them.


Changes like this keep the world interesting. We shouldn't get too comfortable with the current state of the world. We need to challenge our habits. Github has become synonymous with open source. The open source community can profit from seeing that nothing is meant to last.


I thought about moving to Gitlab, but I just obey network effect, and it seems like the storm is over and most people stay at Github... see even the login option here! 😁 And Microsoft’s OSS have done a lot of good things lately.


Yes, the seems like the storm has died down.

I tried to use GitLab for few weeks after the acquisition.

But I had trouble pushing code to the repo multiple times a day.

Tried again 2 weeks ago but still the same issue.

For now I am only saving private code on GitLab, but all new public code will be on GitHub.


As far as personal impact, I wonder if Atom and VS Code will begin to converge. They've each maintained a user base, so it seems as if there's room for both, but it seems odd for the same parent company to support the development of both editors.


Microsoft acquiring github is amazing I'm so happy for this new development.
Microsoft has done excellently well in the openSource community and undoubtedly will make github even more awesome.
Look at vscode today, Jesse maintaining kubernetes. I'm just too excited.

I don't understand how people think Microsoft will ruin github. I mean they're the largest contributor on github.


A few bullet points:

  • Microsoft decided to put the Windows kernel into Git, but it is HUGE and so created the Git Virtual File System (GVFS), so only the parts you work with are local to your machine.

  • Microsoft put out WSL last year, and their bug tracking is done in github.com/Microsoft/WSL. I have three issues (using Ubuntu's apt-check to show if I have updates, using cpan under WSL (solved) and lack of unicode/emoji support (because I use emoji in my prompt)), and the cpan issue got solved, the apt-check issue hasn't and the emoji issue got pushed over to Console, which should have an update allowing better Unicode support soon.

I am writing this on Chrome in Ubuntu. I use VS Code, but I use Vim a lot to fix things I can't get Code to do right, yet. (The perltidy extension does not read my wildly-ideosyncratic perltidyrc, for example.)

I came up in programming in the 1990s, where friends and Slashdot comments gave me "M$" and "MicroSucks" as preferred names. My objection to Microsoft projects is that they were heavy and didn't do what I wanted. You can see your files in Explorer, but you can do anything with your files with a terminal, bash and a few other tools.

If I have to touch most things in Office, I take it as a sign that I have sinned and must be punished. (Excel is the exception.) I use Windows for 1) the toys (Does XCOM2 work on Linux?) and because I need to know it for work. But, having tried Atom and Sublime Text (2, not 3), I use VS Code because it is the best tool for the job.

Plus, of course: Microsoft buying GitHub is good because it means that Oracle can't buy GitHub, which means we're not in the darkest timeline.


I believe that Microsoft, under Satya Nadella, understand the difference between short-term and long-term gains. Acquiring GitHub and leaving it the way it is, or advancing it, is a long-term gain; I have literally switched a project from another language to .NET Core due to their open-source 2.1 release. Trying to "monetize" it would be a short-term gain, but a long-term loss.

I get that MS positioned itself as the enemy of open source software many, many years ago. I also understand, as a dev who's been around their technology since 2001 tangentially, and 2004 in earnest, there has been a shift in their thinking. Nearly all of the .NET Framework is now open source, and the entirety of .NET Core is open. Visual Studio Code, a lean-and-mean editor that, IMO, is "VS without the ceremony", is a phenomenal product, and built on GitHub-developed technology to boot.

MS has been doing their dead-level best to earn their open source chops for several years. When Rackspace acquired SliceHost, I was nervous; when they announced their plan for minimum-$50 bills for every client, I moved to Azure. While I currently find more value with Digital Ocean, even then, I could create an Ubuntu VM in Microsoft's cloud. The way my desktop is set up, I can click an icon and launch an Ubuntu instance on my computer that plays nicely with Windows (and my local filesystem). I still use Azure for files; I've got a combined 9-year archive of podcasts hosted there, plus nightly backups, and my bill is less than a dollar a month.

This news makes me happy; it tells me that GitHub is going to be here for many years to come. The old MS would have tried to convert us to TFS or Visual SourceSafe in 2 years; this MS actually shut down its own hosted solution, CodePlex, in favor of GitHub. The naysayers / doomsday-soothsayers haven't been paying attention.


It will push us "Enterprise IT" .NET developers from TFS to GitHub, sooner or later.

One of the biggest trends I've seen in working with Microsoft development tools over many years is them moving on to the next big shiny object, leaving everyone's project plans in disarray. That's why when you walk into a long time Microsoft corporate IT team you're likely to find everything from VB6 desktop apps to Angular/React web apps and everything in between. If you're really lucky you'll encounter multiple Visual SourceSafe repositories, local TFS repositories, cloud based TFS and now GitHub.


For TFVC the writing has been on the wall for years. VSTS has supported Git for a long time now and I don’t think there’s any denying it’s a superior VCS.


I am adopting a Wait and See approach. With the changes we have seen in MS lately, I pretty much expect they would do the same thing as if Google had acquired it. That is, contribute to open source but aggressively collection data for advertising.


Thanks Kasey.
I am also going for the "Wait and See" approach.
If the acquisition stays successful, I will stay, or else. 😛


GitHub has been consistently behind GitLab in features so maybe that gets better. I think it's important to judge the potential for this acquisition against Microsoft's past ones, which have had mixed results at best.

Tim Sneath did a great writeup on this: medium.com/@timsneath/on-microsoft...


To me I feel a lot of people still think Microsoft is the company it was 10-15 years ago.

I keep reading Microsoft isn't truely open source that they are a "for profit company." If that is what makes you open source vs. not open source then there are a ton of companies, products, and libraries out there that we all use than wouldn't match your definition of open source.

.net Core has been a huge thing for Microsoft. There is a reason why there are companies out there making the switch and moving some of their tech stack to it.

I really don't think we will see a huge thing. As long as they don't force us to use Microsoft accounts we are good.


if it is Google or Microsoft in OSS - It is Google to me who has done more OSS work. We should not forget Kubernetes, Tensorflow. Android to some extent too..

But MSFT is my new favorite, they are making right moves. Under Satya Nadella, MSFT has a different image definitely.


I think it's an interesting acquisition. Microsoft have been successfully improving their culture over the past 5 to 10 years, which is positive. I think they will be a good custodian and will have the resources to improve the service which it needs to stay relevant, but I'm against having everything owned by a small number of huge companies. Overall I'm sitting on the fence about the whole thing, so we'll see how it pans out. It's annoying to see people just jumping ship without understanding the situation properly and making an informed decision; they're still thinking, Microsoft! Oh no! Abandon ship...


I honestly have no opinion either way so far. GitHub the product has been good to me, GitHub the company has had problems in the latest years (financial, cultural and so on). We'll see either way :-) Best case scenario we get a better product. Worst case scenario... well it's git, it takes two seconds to migrate away and the competition will just benefit from it.


For now I'd say business as usual, no reason for panic. The new Microsoft isn't the old 'evil' Microsoft of Steve "Developers! Developers! Developers!" Ballmer ... they're not going to screw up Github by making it MS/Windows-only compatible, or whatever.

I'm pretty sure that more people will be choosing Gitlab for new projects (which is good - more healthy competition is a good thing), but don't waste your time moving all your existing Github repos to Gitlab overnight for no good reason, they are fine where they ar ... I'm sure Github will remain a great place and a great community for open source.


I have never trusted Microsoft and still don't.

Case in point: in Microsoft Office for Mac, each and every time I fire up any of the products, I get a nag screen, "Share how you use Office" with two choices, Full diagnostic data, or Basic diagnostic data. There is no "opt out" button, only "Learn More" and "Accept" for choices. The "Learn More" just circles back to the same non-choice. As a user experience designer, this is offensive on many levels including interrupting the user with a very selfish and persistent request and not offering the user a way to opt out or even dismiss the nag screen.

I've read articles and comments about this acquisition and still haven't formed an opinion, though from my experience it would be a stretch to accept that this action will result in good things for the open source community. I've been inside Microsoft and I've seen the Dr. Strangelove board where every installed instance of Windows is plotted on a huge world map, including a rather startling amount of personal information about owners of those instances, whether paid or pirated.

I completely abandoned LinkedIn when Microsoft bought it and am about to do the same with GitHub.


On a personal level this must be great for the founders, GitHub team and their investors. Congratulations to them on this acquisition, they built a great service & built an amazing community. This acquisition ratifies their model and hard work.

For the last few years, Microsoft has been an consistent open source contributor link. They were just behind Google last year on GitHub.

A lot of coders are using VS Code as their primary IDE and there are many who swear by TypeScript. A thing to consider is how many moved from MySQL once Oracle acquired them. Sure, some would have had their reservations and moved to other databases. But MySQL still has about 58% market share link.

Time will tell how this pans out. But given how Microsoft has been under Nadellla, I would give them some benefit of doubt and wait to hear what plans they have for GitHub.


Big acquisitions rarely play out the way people want to. Microsoft has a spotty record on this front with lots of their acquisitions killed off or limping along. On the other hand, their current CEO seems to be a strategic person and I kind of like how he has transformed Microsoft in the last few years.

So, from that point of view, this is probably not that great. The good news is that Github is based on Git and it is easy to move away from it. My current project moved from Bitbucket, to Gitlab, and eventually to Github. The most annoying thing about these moves is dealing with issue trackers, CI and other stuff you need in any decent project. I actually wrote a script for migrating bugs from bitbucket to gitlab when we did that, which I believe is still there.

The reason we did that move was performance. Bitbucket performance was just horrible at that time. We self hosted Gitlab for about a year and that worked fine but self hosting adds a lot of complexity and cost. So, eventually we moved to Github. I've been generally quite happy with it. I also enjoy that most of the OSS community seems to be on it. So it acts as a loose social network where I can follow projects, issues, and developers. I never got that on either gitlab or bitbucket. These social features are what make Github valuable.

From a functional point of view, it's clear to me that I want my source code hosted for cost reasons. I also need performance, reliability, and integration features. Github ticks those boxes so far. If MS doesn't ruin that, I'll likely remain a paying customer. However, Gitlab has caught up and is pretty much a drop in replacement from a functional point of view. But they do lack the social dimension. They have the tools but not the people.

Also worth mentioning that you can host private repositories on keybase and that they have some team features in the work as well. If you are looking for alternatives.


I have mixed feelings. I'm one of those many people who really hated microsoft a while ago. Though, I liked a few of their products. I liked C# as a language and despite that initially it looked like a Java clone, it forced Java to introduce new features like generics which they initially were against.

I also like the openness they lately adopted towards open source. They seem to understand better than any other large company that the code is not important, but the people behind it. I migrated from Java to Typescript and JS and I'm a big fan of both and of VSCode.

I think their plan is to make it easy to deploy from github to Azure in order to get some competitive advantage against AWS. If they don't desperately try to lock people in, I don't think people will mind. So, as I just said, I have mixed feelings. I started to look for github alternatives and I created a small site listing them: gitcomp.com. Funny enough the site is hosted on github so if you want to add something to it you can do it by forking and creating pull requests...


Well I have MicroSoft baggage going way back and have avoided using their tech, just out of pure economics, not wanting to depend on components under the control of what I've always though to be a purely self-serving entity.

However, in recent years I suspect (correct me if I'm wrong) MicroSoft have suffered a bit from being so self-serving and closed. And management weirdnesses like Balmer's "stack ranking" system can't have done much for software quality!

I'm hoping that MicroSoft is taking its next evolutionary step. People have speculated that this is the "embrace" phase of an "embrace, extend, extinguish" strategy, but I think they are outnumbered on the open source front and are joining in.

We'll see. In the meantime, I'm mirroring my repos at gitlab, just to be sure ;)


For me it's good thing. First maybe they improve it. They developers to where always very good and second it will spread OSS communities between few services which is healthier for everyone.


So far, opinions seems highly divided between whether the acquisition is good for the OSS community or not.

Seems like many are skeptical but would you share how MS can improve the relationship with the OSS community with the acquisition?