Microsoft Reportedly Agreed to Buy Coding Resource GitHub

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Despite Microsoft's turn towards open-source, some GitHub users remain concerned that Microsoft's leadership will undermine the core values of the system and hurt the developers that rely on it.

The new Microsoft under CEO Satya Nadella strikes us as a very different company from the Microsoft of ten years ago - especially given that the new Microsoft has embraced open source - but it's hard to forget its earlier history of trying to suppress Linux.

Microsoft, for its part, has slowly been repositioning itself from being focused on the Windows operating system to a broader suite of developer-focused services, including its Azure cloud platform - the largest competitor to Amazon Web Services - and the Cortana AI suite. The Windows maker is one of the largest contributors to GitHub.

That said, GitHub is more significant than Microsoft, and its unlikely its objective will be modified once the Redmond-based giant takes over day-to-day operations. In August 2017, CEO Chris Wanstrath announced he would step down.

Rob Enderle, principal analyst of Enderle Group, offered a similar assessment, telling SiliconANGLE that these concerns may have been realistic in the old days, but not so much now. It said Github would continue to operate independently.

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GitHub is "like google docs for developers", allowing them to share and collaborate easily.

A source with insights into the ongoing negotiations told CNBC that the deal first came about as a result of discussions around a joint $35 million marketing partnership. GitHub allegedly hosts over 80 million code repositories and 27 million developer accounts.

"In other words, not only should sceptics not be anxious about Microsoft unduly favouring their own platforms, they should also be excited that, more than any other potential acquirer, Microsoft is likely to push the individual and community aspects that make GitHub so unique".

While some developers seem unhappy about an acquisition, it's possible that Microsoft's interest is GitHub's saving grace. Unlike many online publications, we don't have a paywall or run banner advertising, because we want to keep our journalism open, without influence or the need to chase traffic.