More than 28 million developers already collaborate on GitHub, and it is home to more than 85 million code repositories used by people in almost every country.
According to Bloomberg, which reported details of the potential acquisition, the deal could be announced as soon as Monday. The company has since grown to feature video game consoles (Xbox), consumer electronics, personal computers and cloud services (Microsoft Azure). Microsoft expects the acquisition will be accretive to operating income in fiscal year 2020 on a non-GAAP basis, and to have minimal dilution of less than 1 percent to earnings per share in fiscal years 2019 and 2020 on a non-GAAP basis, based on the expected close time frame. Microsoft is a company focused on selling proprietary software, where as GitHub has always been a friend of open source, offering free accounts to such projects.
The new Microsoft under CEO Satya Nadella strikes us as a very different company from the Microsoft of ten years ago - especially given that the new Microsoft has embraced open source - but it's hard to forget its earlier history of trying to suppress Linux.
Bloomberg said GitHub has been searching for a new chief executive officer for the past nine months and is now unprofitable.
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This means that we have to wait for official communications from both Microsoft and GitHub to confirm the acquisition. The site stores valuable code for thousands of developers and companies, and also can track major trends in the software industry. Other coders are then able to tinker with and improve the code. GitHub raised $350 million and we know that the company was valued at about $2 billion in 2015. GitHub funder and former CEO Chris Wanstrath will become a Microsoft technical fellow and work on strategic software initiatives.
Larry Salibra, a Hong Kong-based engineer at Blockstack, which posts its open-source software on GitHub, says that GitHub's trove of data makes it a valuable target for Microsoft, possibly at the expense of developers.
Many firms depend on GitHub to collaborate and build their products.