Microsoft Acquires GitHub
Developers all over the world had mixed reactions when Microsoft announced its plans of buying GitHub for $7.5 billion, and for good reason. It is difficult for a modern-day developer to imagine not having access to GitHub, an open source platform that has about 28 million users and 85 million codebases. Contributors on GitHub are split between feeling that the company has more than ever to hope for in the future and that it has signed its own termination contract.
Microsoft, like other tech giants, has a history of buying out other companies. One of its most famous acquisitions happened in 2011, when it bought Skype for $8.5 billion. However, based on reviews of the Skype app as of mid-2017, reviewers are calling the Microsoft makeover the “worst Skype update ever.” Rather than focusing on the bugs plaguing the video calling service that dropped its ratings down to three stars before the change, Microsoft had chosen to focus on new features like using emojis in video calls and a Highlighting option, much like Snapchat. With a record-low one star rating of the service on app stores worldwide, the Skype fiasco proved to consumers that not everything Microsoft took over would be improved.
This disaster caused some programmers to take GitHub and Microsoft’s amalgamation with a grain of salt. Some users are afraid that Microsoft will attempt to monetize the service or alter it so drastically that they will be unable to use it in the future. Others are afraid that Microsoft is running a monopoly in code hosting. This fear has worked to the advantage of GitHub competitors like GitLab and BitBucket. In fact, the number of GitHub repositories moved to GitLab jumped from 154 to 6,000 an hour after Microsoft’s announcement. It ensures that, in case GitHub faces a fate like Skype, open source developers have somewhere to turn to.
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