Microsoft built itself into one of the world’s most successful companies by selling proprietary software and technology while fiercely protecting it. As they tried to claw their way to the top, Microsoft gained a reputation for attacking open-source programmers. But towards the end of Steve Balmer’s time as CEO, the stance toward open-source began to soften. Still, Microsoft’s announcement that they are purchasing GitHub, an open-source provider, for 7.5 billion dollars was a surprise to most.
The current CEO, Satya Nadella, took over in 2014. In addition to shifting focus away from maximizing Windows sales, Nadella has continued Balmer’s outreach to open-source programmers in tandem with an effort to offer new products that run on a variety of platforms. On Monday, after the acquisition, Nadella admitted, “Now we are all-in on open source.” But, the Chief Executive also recognized that baggage exists for many developers. In an interview on Bloomberg TV, Nadella said GitHub’s users accepting Microsoft is a “very critical element.”
“We’ll have to earn the trust,” he said. “Our actions from the recent past should reassure every developer of what Microsoft’s intent.”
With all these challenges, some might question Microsoft’s decision to spend billions of dollars on the acquisition. But, it’s really to be expected. The company has more open-source contributions to GitHub’s repository than any other organization in the world. Just as .Net is the default framework for Windows, GitHub is the de facto hub for open-source software. Both are equally important for web and server-side code. Going forward, they appear to be the basis of Microsoft’s long term innovative strategy.
There is a consensus among tech giants that developers, especially open-source, are the life-blood of innovation in the tech sector. The vast majority of new tech companies rely on open-source code so they don’t have to start from scratch. A company like Microsoft relies on acquisitions to grow its footprint, and GitHub provides them with a platform on which innovators (and potential acquisitions) can flourish. Gaining a robust platform of coders is invaluable. Many have compared the purchase to Google’s acquisition of YouTube or Facebook buying Instagram. It gives Microsoft control of a platform that includes over 26 million content creators.
With developers’ preeminent position in the tech industry, the purchase of GitHub underscores Microsoft’s steadfast commitment to becoming the company for empowering the open-source community. So, although you probably won’t be making a GitHub account to pair with your YouTube channel and Instagram Feed, Microsoft’s newest 7.5-billion-dollar business may be the key to Microsoft’s future.
Whether it is Office 365, Enterprise Mobility, or Windows 10, Microsoft remains a leader in almost every area of technology. Their acquisition of GitHub illustrates that they will continue to be innovators in the tech sector for years to come. For help in maintaining, deploying, or upgrading Microsoft solutions, contact us at Peters & Associates. We can support your current technology and solve any business challenge. Call 630.832.0075 or email firstname.lastname@example.org today!