Developers divided after Microsoft’s acquisition of GitHub

The image of an editor that is hostile to the open source community still sticks to Microsoft’s image for some developers.

These people have a very negative view of the repurchase of the GitHub code repository and are already preparing to switch to GitLab or BitBucket. Others take into account the radical shift towards open source made by Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft.

Some even predict the death of the code-share site. As expected, epidermal reactions immediately followed the announcement of the takeover, although rumors that had been circulating for a week reduced the surprise effect.

Several developers have stated that they will immediately abandon the Git-based open source repository (version management software designed by Linux creator Linus Torvalds). The two main competitors, GitLab and BitBucket, are ready to open their arms.

Will GitHub evolve like Skype or Mono?

Some of the developers who are worried about the acquisition talk about how Microsoft has made Skype evolve, which they say is poor. The open source software purchased in 2011 has gone from being a peer-to-peer communication tool to a cloud solution.

This is an analogy that others refute by considering that it is more logical in this case to refer to the acquisition of Xamarin whose team created the Mono open source development framework. According to them, the latter did not suffer the consequences of the purchase by Microsoft, but quite the opposite, according to some. Mono allows C# developers to write multiplatform code for Windows, MacOS, Linux, Android or iOS. Whether or not it is a sign of their desire to inspire confidence in developers, it is Nat Friedman, CEO of Xamarin and familiar with the world of open source, to whom Microsoft has entrusted the management of GitHub.

Many private repositories in GitHub

From Apple to Microsoft, Amazon, Google, Facebook or IBM, everyone uses GitHub to store code and collaborate privately in their software. But among them, the main contributor to the site hosting code is Microsoft, so keep in mind those who find it logical to see the editor of Redmond take the initiative. Since GitHub seemed destined for acquisition anyway (absence of CEOs, financial problems, and other problems), others were also interested.

In a tweet, a developer participating in the Windows Insider MVP program imagines with humor what another acquirer might have done: with Apple, projects limited to XCode, with Google, ads everywhere, with Facebook, sharing data with all projects, etc.

Microsoft has embarked on some of its most important GitHub projects under open source license, including PowerShell, the .NET framework and the Edge JavaScript engine, the website recalls.

Among the issues raised by the acquisition, a professor at the University of Ghent points out that many companies pay to work collaboratively on GitHub in private repositories. He considers it was potentially damaging that GitHub has sold its platform to a potential competitor of these companies. For him, this is an abuse of trust and is not considered a healthy situation, even if Microsoft is a good steward of Github’s legacy. Others point out to him that Microsoft will not venture to break this trust because that would wipe out the service. In comparison, Netflix is hosted by AWS, which in turn has a service that competes with Prime Video.