Microsoft is said to be in serious talks about a possible acquisition of GitHub, currently the largest source-code repository in the world. A report by Business Insider suggests the Redmond giant has been in talks regarding a buyout for years now but that the discussions have heated up recently, possibly owing to the impending departure of GitHub CEO Chris Wanstrath.
Github, the well-known repository of software projects, has been talking to Microsoft about a possible sale, according to Business Insider. Github, according to BI, has had a difficult time finding a new CEO after announcing it would do so nine months ago. And generating revenue hasn’t been easy either, according to the report. This means a multibillion-dollar price tag might be tough to justify, though the company in August said it was on pace to generate $200 million annually. (It was valued on paper at $2 billion in 2015.) It’s unclear whether that pace has accelerated.
Github and Microsoft already are close, according to ZDNet and Microsoft claims to have more developers contributing open-source software to projects hosted on Github than any other company.
Microsoft is shopping
Since 2014 (last talks with GitHub) Microsoft purchased the following things:
- Minecraft Marketplace
- Minecraft: Education Edition
- Minecraft: Story Mode by Telltale Games
- Minecraft releases for Nintendo devices – Wii U, Switch, and 3DS
- Minecraft releases for mobile devices – iOS, Android, Windows Phone (heh)
- Minecraft for Windows 10 which includes cross-play with Xbox Live friends + all mobile platforms, gamepad & touchscreen as input options, and VR support
- Super Mario & Fallout DLC packs
LinkedIn, Skype, Wunderlist and maybe more – none of these are really success stories since Microsoft acquired them. They do, however, fit into Microsoft’s niche of software and services that can be marketed to businesses for cash with only minimal concern for personal users.
This leads to the doomsday scenario for GitHub as Microsoft Office 365 Source Control – an Office product that offers free hosting for repositories of 10MB or less with a personal Microsoft account. Subscribers to Microsoft Office 365 get more storage of course. And, naturally, you need to sign in with your Microsoft account to clone a repository.
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Comparison of source code hosting facilities (Wikipedia.org)