Skip to main content

Microsoft Purchases GitHub – What Does This Mean For Open Source?

By June 15, 2018June 8th, 2022Technology News

Microsoft just made a big, significant purchase that has raised more than a few eyebrows.  They just acquired GitHub for a hefty $7.5 billion.

What makes the purchase interesting and potentially troublesome is that Microsoft is the world’s largest proprietary software company, and GitHub is the world’s largest open source hosting service.

The natural question on everyone’s mind then, is what does this mean for open source?  Is it doomed?  Is it soon to go the way of the dinosaur, or will Microsoft hold the reins of power loosely and let open source continue to flourish?

Those are fair questions, especially given that GitHub is used by more than 28 million developers around the world, and is home to more than 85 million code repositories.  In addition to that, the company was built on Git, which is an open source version control software written by Linus Torvalds (the creator of Linux). Its founders have worked hard to develop innovative workflows that have made the hub easy to use and work with.

The fear is that Microsoft will start strangling those developments and insist that GitHub begin using proprietary Microsoft products.  While it’s too early to say for certain, the early indications are encouraging.  Microsoft has stated that GitHub will be allowed to retain its status as an “open platform” and its service will continue to be offered for free.

Having said that, there will be some changes, including the fact that Microsoft will be offering integration between its AppCenter mobile testing service and projects hosted on GitHub.  This builds on previous collaborations between Microsoft and GitHub.  Last year, GitHub announced that they would support Microsoft’s “Git Virtual File System,” which the company designed for enterprise-sized data repositories.

The skeptics are right to be skeptical, but so far, the early indications are positive.  Note that it’s not a done deal just yet.  The merger is subject to regulatory approval in both the US and the EU.

Jason Manteiga

Jason J. Manteiga, Vice President of Olmec Systems, has been part of the company for over the past 20 years. He believes that having a great work environment and supportive team, is the ultimate key to success. Since being in the IT realm for over 25 years, Jason, along with Olmec Systems, has been on the Inc. 5000 “List of America’s Fastest Growing Private Companies” and Channel Futures MSP 501 “Top Managed Service Providers in North America,” along with other awards and nominations. Jason earned his Bachelor Degree in Information Systems from the New Jersey Institute of Technology. He also holds certifications in Microsoft MCSE, VMWare VCP, and Cisco CCNA. In his spare time, Jason is a contributor for The Center for Social & Legal Research (Privacy Exchange) and a member of the Morris County Chamber of Commerce. His hobbies include cycling and kayaking. He currently lives in New Jersey with his wife, two daughters and son.