During its earnings call just a few days ago, Microsoft executives promised the company’s $7.5 billion acquisition of the GitHub code repository would be closing shortly.
They weren’t kidding — the company announced today that it’s officially a done deal and finally complete, one more example of how the company has been evolving in a big way under CEO Satya Nadella. Among other things, it’s embraced a reorientation of emphasis away from Windows and to the cloud; embraced open source; and made some big acquisitions, including of the professional social network LinkedIn as well as, now, of GitHub.
New GitHub CEO Nat Friedman walked through some details related to the announcement in a blog post, including the fact that the company has grown its base of software developers to 31 million, up from 28 million this summer. That is revealing and no doubt welcome news to Microsoft, given that there was some chatter when the acquisition was first announced in June that some developers were threatening to leave with Microsoft taking ownership.
In his post, Friedman said he’s spent the past few months meeting with hundreds of developers as he prepared for his new role. “The passion for GitHub is amazing — both in the areas where we excel and in the areas where you want us to do more,” he wrote. “I’ve learned a lot from these conversations, and listening to our customers will be a core part of how GitHub operates as a company.” The objectives that he said will guide continued development of the community are ensuring it’s the best place to run communities and teams; making it more accessible to developers around the world; and focusing on reliability, security and performance.
“We will start by focusing on the daily experience of using GitHub and will double down on our paper cuts project,” he wrote. “We will improve core scenarios like search, notifications, issues/projects, and our mobile experience. And of course we are excited to make GitHub Actions broadly available.”
As Ars Technica notes in a piece today, news of the Microsoft-GitHub acquisition sent shockwaves in the open source world this summer, thanks to GitHub being a home for many open source projects. But the site argued that Microsoft was probably the best suitor for GitHub due to both entities’ common goals and interests. Open source developers were given reassurances at the time that Microsoft would be a responsible parent, and Friedman’s post makes that same point today.