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GitHub Buying JavaScript Company npm Inc.

GitHub, part of Microsoft, announced on Monday that it's agreed to acquire open source JavaScript solutions company npm Inc.

Financial terms of the deal weren't described. Nat Friedman, GitHub's CEO, promised that GitHub would invest in the npm registry and platform. The command-line interface of npm will "remain free and open source," he promised. GitHub will continue to support customers that use the paid npm Pro, Teams and Enterprise products for hosting private registries.

Friedman also explained that GitHub has been working to integrate npm packages with GitHub Packages. It'll facilitate the migration of private npm packages to GitHub Packages sometime "later this year," he indicated.

Those sorts of details were affirmed in a Monday blog post by Isaac Z. Schlueter, npm's chief open technology officer. He indicated that the npm public registry will still be free to use. He expressed enthusiasm for the GitHub acquisition as it will serve to maintain the npm registry over time.

"As we dug into the technical and strategic plans for how npm would fit into the vision of GitHub moving forward, it became clear that this isn't just a good option for the JavaScript community -- it's significantly better than what npm, Inc., can provide on its own," Schlueter wrote.

Npm, based in Oakland, Calif., is a startup company founded in 2014 that produces an open source package manager for Node.js. It maintains an npm registry of public, open source code for use by the JavaScript community, as well as an npm command-line interface-based client application. Npm "serves over 1.3 million packages to roughly 12 million developers," according to Schlueter.

Microsoft bought GitHub, an open source code repository, in 2018 for $7.5 billion in Microsoft stock. At the time, Microsoft promised that GitHub would remain as an open platform and said it would operate as a separate entity. GitHub claims to support more than 28 million developers.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.

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