On the Acquisition of GitHub

Having discussed with fellow coursemates over the previous two days concerning the $7.5bn acquisition of GitHub by Microsoft, I thought that I would drop my two cents on the topic as it seems to be in vogue at this point in time.

One of the major concerns that I heard from other individuals within my course is that the acquisition of Microsoft represents a direct threat to the idea that a Git codebase should be independent of major corporate entities, with Microsoft being that direct threat. To which I say nonsense, as if they actually wanted to stand by this principle they would be hosting their own Git server and not placing it on GitHub, a central authority that hosts their code at their own discretion. In my eyes, this argument represents nothing more than a changing of the guards.

However, I am slightly apprehensive when it comes to looking at their previous large acquisitions and their fates. Mojang, a video game company of Minecraft fame, has become a one-trick pony devoid of their original spark. Nokia died a slow death with their partnership with Microsoft, where they dropped from first in the market to tenth in only two years. Then there is Skype, where the rest is history.

Although, if Microsoft do as they say they will with their press releases and follow a model similar to how they handled the acquisition of LinkedIn, then I believe that all is well. If they leave GitHub to their own devices and do not overtly interfere with them, then it will more than likely be fine. But to be honest, you never know these days with how many acquisitions occur.