Proposed Microsoft-GitHub buy confirms open source role in cloud

TechTarget | June 11, 2018

The looming Microsoft-GitHub pairing confirms the company's rebirth as an open source friend. Data tools on the Azure cloud are part of the motivation. Microsoft has not always been about the developer. That is just its roots. At a time when software development was limited to people with access to mainframes, the company forged its early fortune on the backs of easily available developer tools. Some would say the developer focus dimmed at Microsoft with the departure of co-founder Bill Gates -- one of the most exemplary programmer nerds there ever was. With the ascendancy of Satya Nadella to CEO in 2014, the developer's song is being heard again. And it's being heard particularly loudly now, as Microsoft-GitHub nuptials loom; last week, the company agreed to buy GitHub for $7.5 billion in stock. Microsoft is a well-established commercial presence. Its status with open source is less established, despite its much-reported cuddle-up to Linux. Because it has often been aggressive in pushing its own standards, its proposed acquisition of GitHub has naturally been met with rumblings of concern. However, the Microsoft-GitHub pairing should not be unexpected, according to Warner Chaves, a long-time Microsoft data developer and principal consultant at technical services provider Pythian, based in Ottawa. "People have strong memories of the anti-open-source Microsoft, but the fact is that Microsoft is the corporation with the largest number of [GitHub] open source contributors," Chaves said. "It wants to keep attracting this type of developer to Azure as part of the ongoing war for cloud market share."

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