GitHub founders now own more stock than Microsoft CEO; 13,000 developers jump ship in an hour; Twitter goes full snark
It’s fair to say that Github’s sale to Microsoft has divided opinion.
The $7.5 billion all-stock deal will make GitHub’s three founders some of Microsoft’s biggest individual shareholders.
If an EquityZen analysis is correct, their roughly 12.3 million Microsoft shares (if split three ways) would give them ten times more shares than the company’s own CEO Satya Nadella. Congratulations have, naturally, flown in thick and fast.
Not all developers are convinced. Some 13,000 (admittedly a drop in the GitHub ocean of 30 million monthly active users) abandoned ship for rival GitLab in a single hour.
Why? Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer once called open source a “cancer” and the company has been a vociferous defender of proprietary software in the past. (Also, few favour Skype since Microsoft bought it…)
Yes, that was a long time ago. Yes, Microsoft has changed (CEO Satya Nadella proclaiming “I love open source” in 2014 and the company now contributing to a broad range of open source projects, including the Linux Foundation’s Node.js Foundation, OpenDaylight, Open Container Initiative, R Consortium and Open API Initiative.) But yes, developer memories would put an elephant to shame.
Opinion is far from unanimous: Computer Business Review was sitting down with CloudBees CEO Sacha Labourey when the news broke. He said: “The New Microsoft totally gets developers. They contribute more to open source than Google and Amazon, combined! They are doing amazing open source work (for example, Code and Helm).”
Wounds take a while to heal however and Twitter snark has flowed thick and fast over the past 24 hours. We believe these five tweets below capture the debate.
1) Steve Martinelli doesn’t have a bright vision of the future…
GitHub For Students
GitHub Home Basic
GitHub Home Premium
Github 2018 R2
— Steve Martinelli (@stevebot) June 4, 2018
2) Just the faintest soupcon of sarcasm below from the ‘Hipster Hacker’?
(Others had the same idea: as Kyle Neath put it: “When you think about it, Git on the blockchain could be a real game changer. Finally, decentralized version control that’s both slow, expensive, AND difficult to understand.”)
Luckily, I moved off GitHub years ago. My code is stored exclusively on the blockchain.
— Hipster Hacker (@hipsterhacker) June 3, 2018
Some more sober reflections…
We already have a decentralized GitHub. It's called Git. The fact that ease of use made the centralized service GitHub indistinguishable from the decentralized Git protocol should be a lesson to us all. It can happen to us.
— alex van de sande (4 character handle ? me : bot) (@avsa) June 4, 2018
And a more charitable view…
Woke up to 300 replies from grumpy devs about GitHub.
Guys this is 2018. Microsoft has one of the kindest, most inclusive CEO’s out there.
You demanded they changed. They have.
You demanded they embrace open source. They have.
Now it’s your turn to change and forgive.
— Kelly Sommers (@kellabyte) June 4, 2018
Microsoft gets some respect…
Microsoft is investing in Git, VSCode, Electron, Github, Bash-on-Windows. Things that decentralize and help prevent lock-in. Apple is taking away the only universal cross platform graphics system (OpenGL), locking developers into Metal, and taking away our escape keys.
— jordwalke (@jordwalke) June 5, 2018
An insight into Microsoft’s motivation
Finally, one Microsoft team member had a droll take… (GitHub is free to use for public and open source projects; others need to pay up).
Satya looked at Microsoft’s bill from all the code we host on GitHub and figured it would be cheaper to buy the company.
— Miguel de Icaza (@migueldeicaza) June 4, 2018
GitHub CEO Chris Wanstrath was emphatic, meanwhile, that his team had done the right thing: “Microsoft’s work on open source has inspired us, the success of the Minecraft and LinkedIn acquisitions has shown us they are serious about growing new businesses well, and the growth of Azure has proven they are an innovative development platform.”
He added: “We both believe GitHub needs to remain an open platform for all developers. No matter your language, stack, platform, cloud, or license, GitHub will continue to be your home—the best place for software creation, collaboration, and discovery.”