Gitlab goes after Github users amid Microsoft acquisition rumours

James Marshall
June 5, 2018

GitHub, founded in 2008 and based in San Francisco, was created largely as a community for software developers to share programming tools and code.

It is used by employees at many big companies, including Microsoft. The all-stock deal is expected to close by the end of the year, subject to regulatory approval in the U.S. and EU.

"Microsoft is a developer-first company, and by joining forces with GitHub we strengthen our commitment to developer freedom, openness, and innovation", Nadella said. Last valued at $2bn in 2015, the company lost $66m in the first nine months of 2016, according to Bloomberg, which first reported news of the deal last night.

If confirmed, the acquisition will concern many developers anxious about what Microsoft will do to GitHub as a service.

Microsoft's Nat Friedman, the former CEO of Xamarin, will take over as GitHub CEO, and Chris Wanstrath, the GitHub co-founder and former CEO, will join Microsoft as a technical fellow. The deal is expected to close by the end of the year.

GitHub will still operate independently from Microsoft, with Nat Friedman, now Microsoft Corporate's vice president, assuming the role of GitHub CEO. If this acquisition falls through, Microsoft will benefit immensely by gaining access to millions of developers and companies who can prove to be potential users for Microsoft's cloud services and other technology products.

According to GitHub, as of March 2018 it has more than 27 million developers with 80 million repositories hosted.

Satya Nadella, Microsoft CEO, speaks May 7 during a conference in Seattle.

Microsoft has confirmed that it plans to purchase the developer-focused GitHub website and service for $7.5 billion.

"Today, we released the integration of Visual Studio App Centre and Github, which provides Github developers building mobile apps for iOS, Android, Windows, and macOS devices to seamlessly automate DevOps processes right from within the Github experience", Microsoft said in a statement.

Moody's analyst Richard Lane said the deal reflects Microsoft's "ongoing pivot to open source software, seeking to further broaden its large and growing development community".

Microsoft shares rose almost 1 percent to hit a record high of $101.79.

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