Microsoft, a public company worth $760 billion, has a long list of acquisitions, including networking site LinkedIn in 2016 and Skype in 2011. The size of the deal hasn't been disclosed, and neither company is talking publicly yet, but with a valuation of $2 billion as of GitHub's most recent financing round, the acquisition would require a significant financial outlay from the Redmond tech giant. GitHub is now without a CEO, following last year's departure of Chris Wanstrath, who was GitHub's founder and previously held the position. Many corporations, including Microsoft and Alphabet Inc.'s Google, use GitHub to store their corporate code and to collaborate.
GitHub is an essential tool for coders.
Microsoft, on the other hand, has been looking towards more open source solutions. Talks have been on-and-off for a number of years, but recently it appears that the talks have become more serious, especially as GitHub's current CEO, Chris Wanstrath, is departing the company. Although there are no confirmations from either party, the sources of Business Insider, assure that GitHub would be willing to carry out an agreement, if certain conditions are respected. The terms of the deal aren't known yet.
In early May, Microsoft revealed a new partnership with GitHub that was meant to bring the power of Azure DevOps services to GitHub users. Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer had called open source "Cancer" in 2001. Eyeing big tech companies with skepticism is definitely prudent, but millions of companies already trust Microsoft with their email, financial spreadsheets, and proprietary code running on Azure servers.
When a sweaty Steve Ballmer made that classic speech to software developers at Microsoft's 25th anniversary celebration in 2000, that was probably the last time Microsoft commanded the full attention of the developer community, which was also much smaller at the time.
A Twitter poll from Bryan Lunduke showed that 68% of existing GitHub users would move to another service if the acquisition went ahead, and only 25% of Twitter users asked by Tom Warren of The Verge thought that it was good news.