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Microsoft Has Big Plans for GitHub in the Enterprise

Any enterprise customer of Microsoft's that isn't using GitHub already can expect a big push toward that software development and version control platform shortly.

Microsoft announced a deal on Monday to acquire GitHub for $7.5 billion in stock. The transaction has been approved by both companies' boards and is expected to close before the end of the year.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella identified enterprise usage as one of three major opportunities around GitHub in a blog about the deal.

"We will accelerate enterprise developers' use of GitHub, with our direct sales and partner channels and access to Microsoft's global cloud infrastructure and services," Nadella said.

Of the other two opportunities, one involved bringing Microsoft developer tools and services to GitHub's huge community of developers, many of whom primarily use open source tools. The other opportunity is deepening Microsoft's engagement with developers at every stage of the development lifecycle, Nadella said, "from ideation to collaboration to deployment to the cloud."

The GitHub community currently includes 28 million developers with more than 85 million code repositories. Microsoft regularly boasts of being the most active organization on GitHub. At the Microsoft Build conference in May, Microsoft said it had the most open source project contributors on the platform in 2016. With the acquisition announcement, Nadella claimed that Microsoft's 2 million "commits," or updates made to projects, make it the most active organization on GitHub.

Nadella's comments suggest that enterprise organizations, with development processes that pre-date the 10-year-old GitHub model, could face some adjustments in processes like version control that become integrated into Visual Studio and other parts of the Microsoft developer platforms.

Meanwhile, Nadella and GitHub Co-Founder Chris Wanstrath sought to assure GitHub's massive user community that big business-focused Microsoft wouldn't wreck the open source development platform.

"Most importantly, we recognize the responsibility we take on with this agreement. We are committed to being stewards of the GitHub community, which will retain its developer-first ethos, operate independently and remain an open platform," Nadella promised. "Developers will continue to be able to use the programming languages, tools and operating systems of their choice for their projects -- and will still be able to deploy their code on any cloud and any device."

In his own blog entry, Wanstrath pointed to Microsoft's ongoing engagement with the open source community and its handling of recent acquisitions as reasons to trust Microsoft's intentions. "Their work on open source has inspired us, the success of the Minecraft and LinkedIn acquisitions has shown us they are serious about growing new businesses well, and the growth of Azure has proven they are an innovative development platform," Wanstrath said.

Wanstrath will become a technical fellow at Microsoft once the acquisition closes, reporting to Microsoft Cloud + AI Group Executive Vice President Scott Guthrie. Nat Friedman, the founder of Xamarin, which was acquired by Microsoft in 2016, will become CEO of GitHub, also reporting to Guthrie.

Posted by Scott Bekker on 06/04/2018 at 2:39 PM


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