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Looking Back on the GitHub Acquisition: Are You Still on GitHub?

Microsoft GithubFive years ago, in June 2018, Microsoft announced it was buying GitHub.

At the time, there was a tremendous amount of screeching in the developer communities.  Although the site was moving from proprietary product owned by a private company to a proprietary product owned by a public company, which is more transparent because it’s public, people assumed the worst.

Some of the contemporary comments included:

  • “Embrace, extend, extinguish”.  The idea that Microsoft would initially embrace git only to add extensions and then destroy it.
  • “Microsoft will spy on us”.
  • “I remember the 90s,” referring to Microsoft’s anti-trust war.
  • “Microsoft will screw it up”
  • “Microsoft has a reverse Midas touch”

…and of course the knee-jerk “I’m immediately moving out” (to Gitlab or Bitbucket).

A couple years later CNBC crowed that Gitlab at its IPO was worth more than Microsoft paid for Github.  That didn’t last – today Gitlab (NASDAQ:GTLB) is worth 1/3 of its IPO price and has been losing money hand-over-fist since it debuted on the exchange.

None of this fear-mongered came to pass.  Indeed, one of the first things Microsoft did was make the platform more developer-friendly by removing limitations on private repos.  Prior to the acquisition, repos were public unless you paid.  Post-acquisition, you can setup private repos for free.

Microsoft has also continued to expand the product and introduce new features.  Indeed, Microsoft has been eatings its own dog food and all Windows development is now git-based.

So how about you?  Did you storm out of Github…and then maybe slink back to it?  Did you wait to see what would happen and ended up staying on the platform?  Or are you so hard-core about your FOSS creds that you refuse to even clone from Github?  Let us know in the comments below!


1 Comment

  1. I’m still on GitHub, but only use it for public OSS projects. For anything critical or that I wouldn’t want stolen by Microsoft (which although unlikely, it definitely has happened) I use my own Git servers.

    April 27, 2023 @ 5:45 pm | Reply

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