Microsoft Acquires Code Repository GitHub

Apps and Software

Microsoft's headquarters in Washington. / Photo by: Coolcaesar via Wikimedia Commons


The acquisition of GiftHub, a source code repository, by computing giant Microsoft has been tentatively set on June 4. Both have held on-and-off talks about such an agreement several times in the past. The two have also begun a partnership, according to Dina Bass and Eric Newcomer, writing for Bloomberg. 

San Francisco-based GitHub, which was valued at US$ 2 billion in 2015, reportedly was impressed with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella that it decided to sell itself to Microsoft rather than go public. The buyout will allow GitHub to move forward after trying unsuccessfully for nine months to look for a successor to co-founder Chris Wanstrath as CEO. It has appointed Chief Business Officer Julio Avalos as interim CEO to manage its day-to-day affairs. 

GitHub also has struggled to make its service that allows programmers to collaborate and share their work into a profitable operation. In 2016, it lost US$ 66 million over revenues of US$ 98 million during a three-quarter period. The acquisition will also benefit Microsoft, which is increasingly becoming dependent on open-source software, in developing new programming tools.  

The company is a valuable site for programmers. Many corporations, including Microsoft and Google, use GitHub to store their corporate code. It hosts 80 million repositories of code developed by 27 million programmers worldwide. Microsoft, which used to ignore open-source software, is now one of the biggest contributors to GitHub, with more than 1,000 employees actively storing their code on the platform. The purchase of GitHub is significant for Microsoft which is trying to wean itself from its dependence on the Windows operating system and is migrating to in-house Linux development under the helm of Nadella.

In early 2018, GitHub became the target of the largest distributed denial-of-service attack ever recorded but managed to resume operations after 10 minutes or so.