Microsoft’s acquisition of Github would have been unimaginable a few years back. But
with Satya Nadella at the helm, things have changed considerably for Microsoft. GitHub
is a web based software development platform and hosting service offering distributed
version control for source code.
The software giant has acquired GitHub for a staggering $7.5 billion in all stock deal as
confirmed by its CEO. GitHub is the code repository which is very popular among code
developers and tech enthusiasts around the world. Among the most notable contributors
on GitHub are companies like Apple, Google and FB.
The business world is recognising the importance of software. The dizzying heights of
GitHub’s valuation confirm that notion. They last raised $250 million at roughly $2
billion value, in less than 2 years, they are now valued at $7.5 billion. It may also be
noted that Microsoft made its biggest acquisition ever in 2016, the $26.2 billion deal
Patience has its own virtues. The cofounders of GitHub have proven that yet again.
Bloomberg reported that cofounders of GitHub, Tom Preston-Wener, Chris Wanstrath
and PJ Hyett will be billionaires after this deal. It will also change the ownership ranks in
the world’s largest software company. All the three cofounders will now be among the
Microsoft’s biggest shareholders placing them next to the legendary Bill Gates.
Back in 2001, former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer called Linux “a cancer.” Today,
Microsoft is the top contributor contributor on Github, beating Google, Facebook,
Docker and other competitors. The world has changed for Microsoft after Satya Nadella
took over the reins. While MS has been focused on open sourcing software for almost a
decade, they are now embracing open source and Linux like never before.
While many in the open source world have been sceptic about this acquisition, others
point out that Microsoft today is not the same company they were a decade ago.
Microsoft acquired Skype in 2011 for $8.5 billion & Nokia for $7.6 billion in 2013, both
these deals haven’t really gone the way they would have expected. The frequent updates,
versioning issues, integration with existing MS products made many users Skype sceptic.
Nokia has been a write off that Microsoft would have best avoided in hindsight.
Microsoft is doing their bit to show how deeply they care about open source and
developer community by having the largest number of open source contributors on
GitHub. Nadella wrote in his blog, “Computing is becoming embedded in the world, with
every part of our daily life and work and every aspect of our society and economy being
transformed by digital technology. Developers are the builders of this new era, writing
the world’s code. And GitHub is their home.”
The resurgence of Microsoft under Satya Nadella has been quite phenomenal. The MS
stock has risen by over 160% in the last four years with Nadella as the CEO. He has taken
brave decisions and made Microsoft more relevant in today’s world. They are moving
away from the closed ecosystem to a more open one embracing diverse platforms and
Microsoft has reiterated that GitHub will remain open source and would maintain its
core developer friendly ethos. Satya Nadella remarked,“GitHub will remain an open
platform, which any developer can plug into and extend. 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”
This deal reaffirms the importance of software in taking on the biggest challenges and
prejudices facing our world today. The world will be a more open and interconnected
place with software and technology playing a pivotal role in shaping the future.