Microsoft is buying GitHub and developers are less than thrilled

Microsoft Corp.’s planned $7.5 billion purchase of open-source software platform GitHub has been fairly well received by Wall Street, but it’s sparked a mixed reaction from developers.

GitHub houses code from millions of users, which can be contributed to or integrated into projects of their own. It has amassed the largest developer base in the world thanks to its huge repository of code in various operating systems and languages, flexible platform, and decentralized nature. Some in the developer community, though, are concerned about what will happen once a big corporation buys the platform.

Microsoft MSFT, +0.89% for its part, has tried to stress that the essence of GitHub won’t change. “GitHub will retain its developer-first ethos and will operate independently to provide an open platform for all developers in all industries,” the company said in a release. On a conference call, Chief Executive Satya Nadella stressed that GitHub users would continue to be able to “use the languages and operating systems of their choice” and “deploy to any cloud and any device.”

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Meanwhile, Microsoft senior developer advocate Sarah Drasner acknowledged on Twitter the likelihood of some backlash. “I’m conflicted!” Drasner wrote. “I see why people are so nervous about it but I’m hopeful, looking at projects like vscode, that MSFT has changed a lot for the better. I think we’ll see a lot of churn though before things settle down.”

I’m conflicted! I see why people are so nervous about it but I’m hopeful, looking at projects like vscode, that MSFT has changed a lot for the better and can help ease any of github’s financial burden. I think we’ll see a lot of churn though before things settle down.

— Sarah

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