Thoughts on Microsoft Acquiring Github

I do not code for a living and that means my interactions on Github are negligible. But I have worked in the open-source world for a while now and I understand the important space Github occupies.

So yesterday, when finally the rumour came true, that Microsoft has acquired Github, there were some fear of what that means to this developer friend resource. What it means to all that code that is shared and published on Github for thousands of projects?

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The general mood of a lot of people from my Twitter feed to some co-workers was that it sucked that something as precious to the open-source community like GitHub was not part of Microsoft.

I think some of that angst against Microsoft will eventually settle and people will end up using Github as they did before. Some might discover Gitlab as an alternative

fun fact: Gitlab responded to a Twitter hashtag to migrate from Github to Gitlab with a blog post )

But crucially, Microsoft investing billions in acquiring Github is nothing to be sad about if you are a FOSS enthusiast. Microsoft is not the Microsoft of the old. It now believes in the power of open-source. But more importantly is what the message is when Microsoft spends billions into the open-source world. 

“That open source winning!”

Open source is truly democratic, allows collaboration, better bug testing (simply because of the immense level of scrutiny of public code), and it is a more ethical and sustainable choice.

What happens to Atom?
Acquisition usually means consolidation of side-projects. For Github the side project one can say was Atom.io – a code editor. For Microsoft it is the immensely popular Visual Studio code. I am not sure which one get’s abandoned first, but bets are on the Atom.io project. That said, Atom.io is a free and open-source project and the community around might be able fork it and keep it relevant and alive, if it does get abandoned at some stage in the future.

Again, that is open-source winning! 

Published by Aditya Kane

I am a writer at heart and secretly want to be a world famous philosopher. I want the core tenets of the open source philosophy around software to make it’s way in education, politics, law and economics.

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