The company is based on the principle of open-source licensing, where developers are allowed to access, use, and tweak code written by others with the goal of improving it.
Furthermore, Microsoft Corporate Vice President and founder of Xamarin Nat Friedman will assume the role of GitHub's new CEO while the current CEO Chris Wanstrath will become a Microsoft technical fellow. There's no word yet as to how much Microsoft paid for GitHub in this acquisition. Though unexpected, Microsoft acquiring GitHub isn't incomprehensible.
There's also some irony in Microsoft buying a company whose namesake, git, was created by Linus Torvalds.
This is not the first time that talks of Microsoft taking over GitHub has emerged, as on-and-off conversations regarding acquisition have been happening over the years. However, Microsoft is GitHub's largest contributor with over 1,000 Microsoft employees contributing code to the repositories frequently. While GitHub's losses have been significant - it lost $66 million over three quarters in 2016 - it had revenue of $98 million in nine months of that year. Now it looks as though Microsoft may be its new owner. The stepping down of CEO Chris Wanstrath past year created slight feelings of unease, and a replacement is yet to be found for him.
GitHub is one of the most popular platforms in the software development world today.
The blog post also mentions that GitHub will continue to serve independently and act as an open platform. Some people are reporting that the deal was worth $2 billion United States dollars, although they might have misread the Bloomberg post, which was talking about a $2 billion USD valuation during a round of private investments back in 2015.
Still, you can't help but wonder how Microsoft might leverage GitHub within its wider business strategy, which could see the company build stronger bridges between GitHub and Azure, its clod hosting service, and its wide array of software and collaboration products. Microsoft might pay upwards of $5 billion for the company. One of them, LinkedIn, might be another area where Microsoft might explore synergies, specifically around areas like recruitment and online tutorials and education.