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Microsoft and GitHub have held acquisition talks (businessinsider.com)
426 points by coloneltcb 7 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 552 comments

Really hope these talks fall through and nothing comes of it. Too many bad experiences with Microsoft buying something out, mismanaging it, and it goes down the drain. As much as I love GitHub, I won't be using a Microsoft-owned GitHub for any of my company's work.

To be fair they haven't screwed up LinkedIn. I think they will let GitHub grow with their resources.

IMO that's because LinkedIn wasn't a great product to begin with. It's just the stickiest app of all time. Something something network effects.

How many projects are there out there that repositories hosted in GH, run in GH, and have package manifests that directly reference other GH repos. I'm sure there are a lot.

Most of the golang ecosystem, I think. Not to mention any other language-specific package managers that support pulling from GitHub...

And I was thinking JS/npm, not even golang.

Golang can be the biggest offender in this regard because you import by typing the URL to a github repository... Better hope someone mirrors those projects if they ever go poof. It's not even a generic import to a package[0]. Gotta be fun to have to update all those imports later if a project moves to another host to avoid Microsoft.

[0]: https://godoc.org/github.com/lib/pq

Well that's the beauty of git, as long as anyone anywhere has a checkout of the Repository nothing will be lost. If tags are GPG signed you don't even have to put any trust in the surviveing source. That said for mantained code 99.9% of the time you would just use one of the core develops local copies.

Except for issues and pull request metadata, which are important part of the project knowledge.

In SIT (decentralized collaborative information tracker, https://sit.fyi) there's an issue tracking module and an import tool (https://github.com/sit-fyi/sit-import) that allows to convert all issues and PRs into self-contained issues that can be worked with using SIT issue-tracking, so at least there's a relatively smooth way out to decentralized issue tracking.

It's a good thing computers are good at search and replace.

and since the standard library includes a parser for go you don't even need to do it textually

> IMO that's because LinkedIn wasn't a great product to begin with.

Linkedin is way way better than other job sites. For instance, Glassdoor doesn't even support basic keyword search. If you happen to track job ads for C programmers then you'd get all ads which may have a C character somewhere in their text, and forget abou searching for C++ because Glassdoor doesn't recognize the plus character. With linkedin at least basic keyword searches do work.

It's just the stickiest app of all time To me it barely exists. I'm a hirer in the UK.

Before anyone touts how much wider our reach might be for potential hires, can I point out that my little firm has hired people from the other end of Europe directly ("real" friend of friend etc). Oh and just in case you are wondering - we pay and treat everyone equally and equitably.

If you pay everyone equally, I don't think I'd want to work there.

Maybe it isn't a thing wherever you are but here:

we pay and treat everyone equally and equitably.

... means that we do not discriminate unfairly. Do I really need to spell it out?

I'd argue LinkedIn is much worse than it was pre-acquisition, but it was already on that trajectory. The "news feed" and discussions around current events, etc. They've locked down more and more of it without a $30/mo subscription. Privacy controls are a nightmare to decipher.

I think it's significantly worse albeit probably short of totally "screwed up". Just marginally worse in a lot of small ways that add up to a less useful, less efficient experience for me.

just so you know, i know quite a few people at both linkedin and microsoft and for the most part they are still very seperate entities. linkedin is still using google docs and slack for instance. most of the influence microsoft has had on linkedin in smaller isolated integrations. so anything youve seen go downhill in linkedn consumer app is very much due to independent choices/acts by linkedin itself.

As someone with lots of friends at LinkedIn (I used to work there), I can agree somewhat. But I also know that things can be screwed up in non-obvious ways to rank and file employees (Tumblr/Yahoo and Flickr/Yahoo as examples, which I sadly was there for both).

Plus I'm sure under Microsoft they will have some sort of free private repos like GitLab, Bitbucket and Visual Studio Team Services already do.

Lack of free private repos is the main (only) reason why I don't use GitHub.

When did you last look at GitHub? They've had free private repos for well over a year (maybe longer).

I have ~50 private on my account... Embarrassingly bad half-completed side projects mostly.

GitHub private repos are still $7/month, but available for free as part of the education discount

VSTS, Microsoft's hosted TFS solution, gives you unlimited private git repos for up to 5 users, 40 hours worth of hosted builds per month, complete project management, a private markdown based Wiki, and free orchestration of local build and deployment agents.

Huh? Not that I see. Private repos require a paid plan.

Paid plans of GH are too expensive.

What do you base this on?

1. They already have such offering (VS Team Services).

2. Their competitors (GitLab, Bitbucket) already have that offering.

3. I don't think they're interested in GitHub for its revenue, but for its strategic value. GitHub has to protect its revenue model by disallowing free private repos, Microsoft can afford to be more flexible.

4. They've already made similar moves. They acquired Xamarin, which was expensive, and made it free.

Last I looked, Minecraft seemed to be quite in order as well.

It got more bloated... My kids still use an old version to avoid that (they only play with each other so they don't need the latest version that is required to play on most servers online)

Shall we talk Nokia...

Pre-Nadella tbf, who was opposed to the acquisition when Ballmer was CEO.

Agreed. Buying Nokia of all things stinks of Ballmer. I was listening to an interview where he seemingly took responsibility for the whole stuff up. Not sure how much weight that holds

Buying Nokia wasn’t the issue. Microsoft’s handling of Nokia was the issue. Microsoft is not good at making a physical product and releasing it to the world like Apple and Samsung. The fact many countries had to wait > 12 months to get the latest phone was retarded. Windows phone was awesome, but Microsoft screwed themselves by not doing minimum what it’s competitors were doing.

Huh? Microsoft has several very successful hardware product lines: peripherals (the Microsoft ergo keyboard is the gold standard in many circles), Xbox, the surface line. Maybe they can’t generate Apple hype but they do know how to make consumer hardware.

I don’t think surface qualifies as good consumer hardware. It has been pleagued with driver problems and weird behaviour. But agree on periphericals and Xbox.

The surface line isn’t avaliable world wide on release. Windows phones were released in like 3 markets. Less than surface line. Xbox gets world wide releases.

Phones, people generally want what’s new. A 12-18 month old phone is not new.

I had the top-of-the-line Nokia Lumia 920 (designed just before the acquisition), and the plastic case was too soft and collected dents & scratches like crazy. The matte finish was also too slippery to hold onto (I ended up putting some skateboard tape on it).

OTOH, I found the Windows Phone operating system to be highly responsive and I was able to navigate screens more quickly than the previous iPhone or the current Android I have. The problem was that as third-place in the market, few apps were available for it, and those that were weren't being maintained.

How about Skype, though?

People loved Skype so much, it was really a feat to make people hate it.

They had a decent Android app, then someone saw that it was too fast/responsive and was using too little memory and took that as a challenge, how can I make skype worst? React Native!

Obviously that didn't pleased people (see rating in Play Store), and they had to provide something for low/mid range phones, and skype lite was born (which is really good one).

Hey, thanks for mentioning skype lite. That a mile better than skype .

The design history of Skype for iPhone was particularly misguided: First it was a native UIKit app, then MS put a lot of effort into making it look and behave exactly like a Windows Phone app [1], down to the unusual gestures. When they gave up on that, the app reverted to a native UIKit design, but just a few updates later we got the current Snapchat clone instead. Needless to say, features regularly got lost during these radical redesigns.

That‘s still very clearly the same Microsoft where a gazillion layers of dumb middle management ruin everything[2].

[1] http://www.iphonehacks.com/2014/06/skype-redesign-iphone-app... [2] http://moishelettvin.blogspot.com/2006/11/windows-shutdown-c...

They undoubtedly did a bad job, but I think that Skype has a lot going against it from external factors anyway.

Everyone I know is using FaceTime or Facebook Messenger. The only time I hear Skype anymore is people using it for podcasts. Obvious anecdata but it seems reasonable that services with better device integration (FaceTime) or social graph access (Facebook) would do better in the long run.


Skype used to be mainstream. It was essentially a cross platform iMessage & FaceTime, almost ahead of its time. It was also efficient in terms of network usage, being peer-to-peer for the most part.

Had it continued to be usable, it would still be mainstream and might have the place of WhatsApp today. Instead, we now have this garbage Snapchat-like UI, a server-based model that doesn't even work (it was supposed to "fix" the P2P model, but for me it's been way worse than P2P which always worked), and a shitty Electron client that melts your battery and looks awful (they killed a gorgeous - especially on Mac - native client to replace it with this shit).

Or google hangouts. It's skype but in the web and with an interface that actually works.

Hangouts is a great example of another horrible UI. The whole tie in to Chrome made it unusable for anyone non technical (where did it go? What did you want me to click? I am in the call, but you're not there... oh you're in another call? How do you hangup? I don't see the window anymore, etc.)

A standalone app would fix this, but there seems to be some strange internal agenda tying it to Chrome... Chromebooks I guess?

Minus a few gigs of ram

Yup, all these came after Skype started sucking, most probably because of it.

I think people forget how bad Skype was in a lot of ways though. The big reason they shifted to the cloud model, for instance, was how unreliable message delivery was on phones with peer-to-peer. I remember when, in order to send images, you and the other person had to be online at the same time.

They made some missteps, sure, but Skype was already a very dated solution.

I am not sure how "unreliable" the peer to peer model was. From what I remember it's always been perfect for me.

Media uploads could have been solved by a server-based "media" service, while keeping the reliable & battle-tested P2P architecture.

As of currently, the server-based architecture is an absolute disaster, way worse than P2P.

I regularly had whole chatrooms that wouldn't update for days. I had no way of knowing if a message I sent would really like... ever... get delivered.

I've been a pretty big Skype user in the past, and still use it a bit now, and it is actually so much more reliable now that Microsoft runs it.

Haven't really used group chats that much on it, but for call establishment, I stand behind my words when I say it used to be a lot better.

With P2P it would sometimes take a bit longer (10 seconds?) but it would always work. When it wouldn't, it was because of a problem on either one of the endpoints, and switching network connections or rebooting the router fixed it.

With the current model it would just randomly not work (the client also sucks and sometimes hangs in an inconsistent state after the failed call attempts), without anything we can do - it's something with the software and/or servers.

I used to trust Skype calls to actually go through - now even if I see "ringing" I have no faith in whether it's actually ringing on the other side (and if it was, whether the call would actually connect once picked up).

They wanted total control over the data so they converted the p2p supernodes to Microsoft servers... now the government can get what it needs more easily.

> To be fair they haven't screwed up LinkedIn. I think they will let GitHub grow with their resources.

I'm not sure if LinkedIn could be any less "screwed up" than it was when Microsoft bought it.

Can somebody explain to me why LinkedIn is screwed up? I am genuinely asking ;)

It doesn't provide any value to the regular user; most people I know receive lots of emails mostly from body shops but rarely get a job from LinkedIn. The UI is designed to make it hard to configure privacy, and to make you casually spill your contact list. They are always trying to sell premium accounts. To be fair it should provide some value to a junior dev who doesnt have a Network yet but LinkedIn doesn't even try to hide the fact that you are the product (unlike say fb).

Shameless plug here but I'm also so sick of LinkedIn that I've started building an alternative for developers by myself - https://able.bio/

Still very much alpha but the idea is to have a clean UI and allow developers to write their own insightful articles for the community to read and reward the author with reputation. Like Medium but with more specific language, library, framework topics etc. Then use that to help recruiters who can't code advertise and source candidates for technical interviews. No inbox spamming free for all, they can only contact you when you've applied for a position.

I'd be interested to know what people think of this and if they have any feedback.

LinkedIn was so screwed up I don't know what they could have done to make it worse.

To be fair, they did screw Skype.

100% to the guy that said LinkedIn wasn’t a great product to begin with. X10

They didn't need to screw up linkedin -- they bought it that way.

So, previously Microsoft used to have a program to integrate new companies, called “venture integrations”. I wonder if LinkedIn is going through VI, or not.

I don’t know, isn’t Microsoft the only software company left? I love Google, but they sell ads, their mission isn’t to make software.

Microsoft is more and more cloud and services, but they still have a developer mentality and they have done some good stuff with open source lately.

If someone is going to buy Github, Microsoft is probably the most friendly to developers. Unless Google or Facebook wants to go full altruist and buy for the credibility.

Atlassian is very much a Software Company.

I'm only a relatively casual user, but doesn't Atlassian mostly buy and then manage existing software products? They didn't develop Trello, HipChat, Bitbucket etc.

Every time I run into an issue with Atlassian software, I find a JIRA ticket from 7 years ago. If they have a capable dev team, it's probably working on projects off my radar?

Please. There was no reason to bring up JIRA. Uncalled for by any sane man's standards.

I wouldn’t exactly call them the gold standard of software. JIRA is a holy mess and well... many of us are still stuck with HipChat

Who is the gold standard?

37 Signals is well loved.

A lot of people would say Google these days... now that they're starting to move beyond Material Design 1.0 a lot of their products are becoming more visually mature and unique, along with their substantial investment in machine learning to make their software more personalized, etc.

How has Kaggle fared under Google? Just asking. Also, ms has been focusing on open source quite a bit. Largest contributor on Github. Makes sense. It'll also send a message to the tech community. Mostly Google hogs the limelight for open source stuff.

Most of the big software firms also make hardware these days (unless they are selling open source or managed services).

Examples include Apple, most of the enterprise hardware space, IoT/wearables, *aaS, the top 10-100ish cloud vendors, etc.

Even Microsoft is a hardware company now.


And another big one is Autodesk

Ignoring Azure, all the major MS products I can think of are at least partially ad supported (even when they release something that doesn’t serve ads, it’s a safe bet that it gathers data for better targeting...)

Office is ad-supported? vscode and typescript are ad-supported? MSSQL is ad-supported?

Hell, Windows is ad-supported now. Ever updated and get your free "gift" of Bubble Witch Saga 2: Electric Boogalo? I would pay double for an enterprise version of Win10 without that crap.

Look up windows LTSB. Don't remember if it gets rid of ads, but you don't have automatic updates every other hour.

They do have an enterprise version of Windows 10...

If it were maybe 5 years ago I would be horrified, but under Nadella they are a lot less ... Microsoft-y.

I was at a container orchestration conference the other day, and got the distinct impression that microsoft are not the great satan, and azure is probably a really good choice for cloud service. I can't believe I'm saying that. I'm having dinner with a prolific debian maintainer tonight, maybe he'll beat some sense into me.

I agree in theory, but have you ever actually tried to use Azure? The management interface is ridiculously overcomplicated. It feels very “Microsofty”

All 3 major clouds have consoles that are good in certain things but mostly bad. Azure's console made a big mistake with the vertical blade design, but at least it always loads fast.

The REST APIs and CLI/Powershell interfaces are much, much nicer. The web Portal seems to get revamped every other year and the latest incarnation is not very good.

I do, and while it's not perfect, I find it fairly serviceable.

AWS, on the other hand, I found an absolute nightmare (though to be fair, I haven't touched it in 2 years).

no I haven't used azure in anger but I have colleagues that have. Personally I care not for GUIs so by the sounds of it the API side is ok.

They actually have to compete now, is why.

I assume

I don't know why every massive corporation is trying to rebrand as "the friendly AI conglomerate!" but I'm not buying it for Microsoft or anyone else.

That's what they want you to believe :D

It could be worse, Oracle or SalesForce could have been in talks...

OTOH it speaks to the direness of the situation if you had to mention those two for an even worse scenario.

Why would Oracle buy it?

That would've been my exact reaction while reading this. Good thing I have no large projects on Github.

Well, I guess Gitlab would be happy about the new customers. If they're clever, they'll work on some tools to easen the transition.

From this perspective, Git has made some fundamental things right: Because it only functions as a decentralized system, it strongly reduces lock-in. In the case of Github, you "only" had to port over issues and pull requests. Imagine how great it would be if there was a standard way to save issues in a git repo[1] that was supported by pretty much every provider.

[1]: Such as https://pythonhosted.org/pyditz/

There's no standard, of course, but [shameless plug] I've recently built SIT (https://sit.fyi) -- a tool that allows to collaborate on information in a decentralized, "true serverless" manner. Its first application is (duh!) issue tracking and it has been operational since almost day zero and SIT itself is using it. There's even a GitHub -> SIT import tool (pre-release)

Now, what's also great (did I mention "shameless"?) about the approach used in SIT is that while you can use it with Git (and this is how I've been using it so far), it does not depend on Git's structures but just files -- so it can be easily carried over to whatever might replace Git in a decade.

Good to know, thank you very much for the link!

I've just been thinking: If one manages issues within a separate git repo -- couldn't we also store pull requests this way? I've always been very impressed by how good `git diff` and `git apply` work together, so theoretically, one should just be able to store the result of `git diff master...HEAD` in a new issue. The rest sounds like a tooling problem...

SIT's issue tracking module stores merge requests (aka patches) in SIT itself, therefore, they can all be stored in a git repo. Case in point: https://github.com/sit-fyi/sit/commit/e9f96b84edc560bb1b0c0f...

And this is how it looks in SIT: https://imgur.com/a/UCFmbsZ

I would understand if they sold, but it would make me sad. GitHub has done a great job. I'd hate to see them have to answer to someone other than themselves.

I still miss Sunrise.am

They also killed Danger Mobile.

I agree and I would feel that same way if it were any other large tech company.

So many nice products have passed on in acquisition either because users abandoned them or the acquiring party did. I'm not sure which would happen first here.

If GitHub is financially strapped and looking for a buy out, I hope they're exploring other options for funding.

GitHub clearly needs change of management. I havent seen much inmovation from them compared to GitLab. Microsoft is very strong on innovation since change of management.

GitHub is easy to use, and I’ve found the important features work really well.

I’m all for improvements, but I’m not even sure what I would want. At this point, I’m more worried any attempt at innovation would break the things I like about GitHub now, than I am excited for something new.

I use gitlab for all my private projects and don’t find it to be remarkably better in any way, and the UI always confuses me.

Any way we can improve the UI? We'd love to make it more enjoyable.

You can also open an issue directly in https://gitlab.com/gitlab-org/gitlab-ce/issues

Well, my only request would be that it be more like GitHub.

The only reason for this is familiarity. GitHub is the market leader now and I use it every day at work. It's a lot easier to get used to a new UI if it is similar to the one you are used to. I'm sure if everyone used GitLab at work everyday, it would be fine. The UI doesn't strike me as bad, just very different.

Depends what you like. I prefer my Git hosting suppliers to have better than 50% uptime.

User of both GitLab and GitHub here. GitHub also goes down.

I'm not super familiar with GitLab besides self hosted instances. Even then I prefer the simplicity of gogs. So what do you feel are still be innovations GitLab has but GitHub lacks?

We have a comparison page for GitLab Premium and GHE - https://about.gitlab.com/comparison/gitlab-eep-vs-github-ent...

Most features have a link to their respective documentation for more information.

Otoh, GitLanpb seems to have a messy code that is slow and taking much memory by slapping new stuff in frequently. (My impression from reading several comments on HN.)

Our team is actively working on improving the performance of GitLab.com. If you are referring to the merge requests, we're close to converting the merge request view to Vue, this should speed it up considerably.

The list of key MS acquisitions isn't that long and out of several products only Nokia is a definite failure. Skype gotten worse but I wouldn't count it as failure just yet. Remaining big acquisitions (Forethought PowerPoint, Hotmail, Visio, Navision Dynamics, LinkedIn) where rather successful.

Success for Microsoft doesn't mean success for the users of the acquired product, e.g. Skype users on Linux, and anyone using RoboVM.

From business perspective, supporting Linux is a waste of money.

such a presumptuous statement. Why proclaim you won't use a MSFT owned github, even as a hypothetical?

Microsoft's own history answers this question.

Some of us don't have short term memories and lived through the peak-evil-microsoft years.

And in the end, it's still going to be used.

I agree, as they say, 'snakebit and doomed to die' http://www.memidex.com/snakebit

Isn't minecraft ok, under the new Microsoft?

Why does it matter to you so much who owns GitHub if it's a good tool? Sounds unnecessary vitriol.

Some of us are old enough to remember Microsoft of the 90's and early aughties. "Embrace, Extend, Extinguish" was the name of the game then, many of us haven't forgiven Microsoft for that yet (and nor do we plan to).

And a more recent example: Skype.

Right, I know that, and that's just idiotic behavior. You should concentrate on what is happening today, not what happened decades ago and hold grudges. That attitude leads you into unhappy places.

I doubt its about grudges. The mid level exec culture in a company does not change fast.

Forgiving them too easily shows them that they can get off the hook easily, which isn't a good thing either.

Found the Microsoft stock-holder... ;-)

What's a good alternative in case it goes bad?

This Microsoft is quite different!

Yeah, I agree. I would immediately delete my github account if this happened. I don't buy that MS has seen the light and is a different company now. In the last 2 weeks, 3 people have told me their Windows 10 install updated itself and was completely borked. At least one of these people are going out and buying a new Windows machine as a result (thus giving MS a little more revenue). It absolutely disgusts me.

You must have very weird friends. My family and I havent had any issues since Vista.

Random recent example. Using an Intel or Toshiba SSD is decidedly not weird:


This update has broken computers until the SSDs in question were blacklisted. For people who auto-downloaded the update after that, Windows "only" showed annoying and absolutely unhelpful error messages every single day since the 1803 release.

This is not an outlier, but a strategy: https://www.computerworld.com/article/2878026/microsoft-to-b...

I like how you attack my friends and family and ignore the main point.


Many people mention Microsoft's past history as reasons for worrying about this. However, I disagree. I don't think this would be bad because it's Microsoft.

I think it would be bad because GitHub wouldn't be a generally independent entity, with no business interests besides making a product good enough that people will pay for it anymore. Currently, GitHub doesn't really have any incentive to care what tools and platform you are using, or where you deploy your code. To the contrary, they want to appeal to the widest audience possible.

This would all change if owned by Microsoft. GitHubs role would then instead likely instead be to channel users into other Microsoft products and services, especially Azure. Instead of functionality that benefits everyone independent of platform, it will be in their interest to add features that only benefit users of the Microsoft ecosystem. Azure CI, deploy to Azure, .NET integration, LinkedIn integration. I don't think this is the kind of platform most FOSS projects would want to use, certainly not me.

This is what I was thinking also (though you articulated it much better than I would have).

A large company doesn't make an acquisition like this without a business incentive. For them, it's driving people to their products. Maybe making the tooling in github for interacting with microsoft-y products a little bit better. Maybe adding whatever licenses microsoft likes to the front of the default licenses you can pick from when you create a new repo. Things generated by their editors going into your .gitignore by default.

I don't see any reason they'd acquire github and then entirely leave it alone.

Maybe MS understands this concern and at least keeps it comfortable for the devs not to leave for alternatives else what's the point.

Microsoft has embraced Github with it's recent .Net core development, they are one of the largest contributors with some incredible cross platform dev tooling. C# is a pleasure and visual studio code is an excellent, extensible coding tool.

Go forth Microsoft, the standard bashing in these communities is unjust.

I lived through the 90s, so I disagree. Anyone who feels perfectly comfortable with Microsoft's embracing of things they like is ignoring history.

Maybe it's different this time, maybe it isn't.

I lived through the nineties as well, that doesn't mean I think everything that was amazing back then still is amazing today nor that everything that sucked back then still sucks today...

I think the Microsoft of today is very different from the Microsoft of the nineties.

Personally I'm not so much worried about Microsoft going back to Microsoft'95 but more about the fact that they, like most (all?) other big tech companies, collect more and more data and integrate more and more tightly into our lives. Still I feel that currently Facebook, Google and Amazon are all scarier in that respect.

> I think the Microsoft of today is very different from the Microsoft of the nineties.

If they've managed to change that much, then nothing prevents them to make the opposite turn and return to the monopolistic Microsoft as soon as a new CEO steps in.

That's why I prefer Microsoft to stay away from the products and projects everybody loves. Furthermore, I don't think Microsoft has anything to contribute to GitHub.

> I don't think Microsoft has anything to contribute to GitHub.

Microsoft has experience handling online code repositories and team services. Azure integration has the potential to improve deployment pipelines for many users. Microsoft has lots of experience doing things at scale, and can potentially find cost reduction maneuvers for Github. Visual Studio integration can bring more users to Github. Cooperate users are more likely to upgrade their existing agreement with Microsoft than they are to enter a finical relationship with a new company. Microsoft has just as much or more to offer Github as any other top 5 tech company.

Azure, VS... Yes, I know Microsoft has tons of things to offer to their customers. But not everybody in Github is into Microsoft tech. In fact, most are not. So that's what worries me: trying to tie Github to their products and strategies.

It might happen, but I suspect they will continue to play nice with other tech stacks. Their recent strategy is to provide good tech that can integrate with other tech, to compete on superior products instead of locking in users. They haven't recently extended or extinguished, just embraced, and embracing has done great things for their stock price.

Let's not forget that they developed GVFS to support large monorepos.

Let's also not forget this only runs on Windows.

They've stated that they want to bring this to other platforms as well.


Yes they want... yet it has been Windows only for a year and a half, so far. That's the problem with Microsoft buying big things like Github. It turns people not using their flagship OS into second class citizens.

Re: Skype

Their MacOS implementation that they linked to is pretty cool and understandable even for a filesystem lay-person.


GVFS is a contribution Microsoft has given git, not a contribution Microsoft can bring to Github. That is why I left it out.

> then nothing prevents them to make the opposite turn and return to the monopolistic Microsoft

Well, the world has changed and there is no longer any opportunity for a 90s Microsoft. So I'm pretty sure that unless the world changes back to the 90s, Microsoft wouldn't survive such a turn.

That's like saying IBM could come back as a monopoly. It won't happen even if they want it to.

How is Microsoft different exactly?

Do they not engage in patents racketeering?

Do they not spy on users of Windows 10?

> like most (all?) other big tech companies

"The other children are doing it" and then you're mother would say "that doesn't make it right". It's a child's defense no doubt.

But anyway, it's also factually not true.

I'd say that Microsoft is worse than most other companies because it caters to governments, not consumers. Skype and MSN mysteriously worked in China at a time when no other service did. What's their incentive to push back against LE backdoors when they're not an edgy consumer brand anyway?

"caters to governments"

Corporations only exist as legal constructs. I'm not trying to be pedantic. I'm just saying that it is always going to be the case that a business, any business, will work within the law and with lawful government because they ultimately depend on contract and property law.

All companies have to comply with the law, but Microsoft sells lots of software to governments. They aren't going to put up a fight over end-user privacy if they make more money from gov't contracts than from privacy-conscious consumers. The financial incentives are completely different than for e.g. Apple, and I don't see how that is ever going to change.

All companies, including Apple sell lots of products to the government because, next to Walmart, its the largest employer in the country. It has a $4T budget.

Apple doesn't give a s* about your privacy. They claim to give a s* about your privacy. Those are different things.

If you want this to change you have to get involved with legislation to change the rules/law. That's the only option. None of them "care" about you or really anything, because they aren't human. Companies respond to changes in the law which bound the approved set of behaviors. That's it.

EDIT: I got the budget wrong. Changed that.

I don't care what Apple claims to care about, just like I don't care about Microsoft's newfound love for free software (haha).

However, I highly doubt that government and enterprise purchases make up a large share of Apple's income. And consequently I'm convinced that news of a backdoor in iMessage would cause Apple way more financial damage than these things did to Microsoft: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5728294, https://www.scmagazineuk.com/skype-backdoor-missed-by-micros... https://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/jul/11/microsoft-nsa-...

And the more Apple doubles down on protecting its users, the bigger this financial incentive becomes. Of course that doesn't stop me from supporting better legislation (GDPR was a great start).

I reviewed the data that Microsoft has on me and there is nothing in there that makes me feel uncomfortable. Facebook on the other hand.. not only is the data wrong but if it gets public I can see it damaging me

I just want to point out, aside from the discussion, that Microsoft owns a significant stake in Facebook.

Maybe they should rebrand themselves then.. A new name perhaps? :)

Microsoft has been changing a lot. Embracing linux in their cloud offering, offering unix as a subsystem on Windows, open sourcing their work. Anyone who likens the current MSFT to anything resembling what it was in the 90s hasn't been paying attention to the current leadership.

Windows 10's forced updates and telemetry say otherwise.

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It's that kind of crap, not even the telemetry that got me to switch off of windows entirely at home.

Automatic updates are great, I use it on most of my dev servers

I could even see that defaulting auto update to "on" is a good move too. If you know what you're doing you can turn them off.

I haven't adminned a windows machine since '98 -- can you really. Or turn off automatic windows updates?

As for any telemetry stuff, that should be opt in, and have a target server to send to, which you can point to your own box if you want to.

Microsoft today is different to Microsoft in the 90s though. In the 90s it was a software company that used embrace extend extinguish to maintain and extend its monopolies, but it wrote software and the software was the product.

Now it seems it uses the "user is the product" ala Google, Facebook etc. I'm not aware of apple doing that. Still I guess inevitable as companies penny pinch more and more.

Microsoft is a big company, that's a different team with a different set of leadership. The guy in charge of Windows stepped away. Windows 10 is the last version of Windows basically. Not sure if that means someday they may release a distro (crazy I know) but it's interesting nonetheless.

You are behind on the crazy: they already announced their first Linux distro, it's called Azure Sphere OS and intended for secure/maintained IoT.


I know about that one, but I mean one that'd be consumer driven in some way. I know the ship has sailed but I'd love to see Microsoft create an Android / iOS competitor, and maybe something open source would give them an edge in that regard. It would be best if it were somehow privacy / security focused. Microsoft has the resources to make amazing products the issue is and I've mentioned it before, the company is ever so big, with ever SO MANY PRODUCTS and projects. We know they've got quite a bit going on on the user facing front, but I can't imagine how many internal tools they've got that they rely on as well.

Telemetry is bad, forced updates is not.

Forced updates can be bad, for example I narrowly missed having a bricked workstation when the April update was released and it borked machines using Intel 600p SSDs. I hadn't used that machine for a few weeks and it had been powered off; by the time I finally started using it again Microsoft had blocked the update for machines with that hardware.

Anyway, I can manage the limited telemetry via hosts and I can defer updates (which I will do from now on), but my biggest gripe is forced installation/reinstallation of previously removed apps and games. I run Windows 10 Pro and I end up with a few variations of Candy Crush games, Minecraft, Autodesk drawing apps, and others after initial OS installation and after every major update so far. This is while using an offline account, and even if I used my Microsoft account on this workstation I've never purchased/downloaded any of those apps in the past.

I get that "Pro" at this point means home power user, and companies should be using Enterprise, but Microsoft shouldn't be pushing any software back onto the machine once the user has uninstalled it. That's user-hostile and takes control out of the hands of the one person who should be in complete control of the system.

Once full, non-buggy support for Ryzen APUs arrives in Linux, I'm switching Windows 10 to a VM and going back to Linux on this machine as the daily driver OS.

Forced updates are bad.

1. Updates can introduce breaking changes.

2. Windows will restart the computer to update, potentially interrupting processes.

3. Users should have freedom to use software in the way that they choose, and not have actions forced on them by the software.

I understand that many windows users are far from power users and the forced updates provide security updates. My point of view is anyone willing to give up liberty for security will receive neither.

2. Can be delayed.

3. I agree. I don't give a shit about what users do to their machine, but when they launch a DDos to my servers, I blame them for not updateing their OS. In Windows XP history, there were many viruses/trojanes/whatever that were only possible because people didn't update.

I wouldn't mind forced updates if they were only used for critical security updates. They are not; Microsoft abuses the privilege, and therefore may not be trusted to have it at all.

Feature updates can be delayed for up to a year.

On Pro and up. Not on Home.

2. Can only be updated so many times until Daddy Microsoft knows best and will forcibly shut down your computer.

3. "Users have freedom to do what they choose unless it makes more work for me"?

There are literally billions of Windows users. Less than 5% understand why keeping your computer up to date is important.

Forced updates may suck for you, but understand that it is you they suck for, not the vast, vast majority.

> I understand that many windows users are far from power users and the forced updates provide security updates

I think this largely was only true of the period between the internet becoming a thing and the smartphone becoming a thing. Nowadays there's phones, tablets, and chromebooks that serve the needs of those people better and in a more convenient form factor. Desktops are for people who do work, create stuff, or are hobbiests.

I think a lot of the reasons computers suck today is because of this idea that they need to cater to some strawman drooling moron of a user.

Those devices only take you so far. They are consuming devices only, similar to a television. People still have and use normal PCs and will do so in the future. (Notebooks included of course)

That's kinda my point though. The strawman user these kinds of arguments prop up as the reason everything needs to suck is pretty much 100% consumer. There might be a few things, like typing documents and printing that aren't entirely covered by smartphones, tablets, and chromebooks, but that's a rapidly shrinking set of things.

>but that's a rapidly shrinking set of things

Doubt that. "Desktop" is defined by mouse, keyboard and display. A chromebook satisfies this. I have yet to meet a user who uses a smartphone instead of a PC to do stuff that are notably easier to do on a PC. (while having both)

I would also bet that every user would chose a keyboard over a touch interface to type text.

Maybe you have a point, but I don't feel like connecting a bluetooth keyboard and mouse to a smartphone makes it a desktop. Regardless, I don't think those OSs are good desktop OSs either. I still maintain that this is a poor excuse for having shitty tools.

Using keyboard/mouse/monitor with smartphones is very uncommon.

> Users should have freedom to use software in the way that they choose, and not have actions forced on them by the software.

Agreed, but this had only ever actually been true with free software.

No, forced updates are also bad. I own my computer, I built it, and I paid for Windows. Microsoft shouldn't get to decide how I run it (I can't turn off Windows Defender permanently) or when it updates (you can only delay them so long before it forces you to update). If their updates were stable it would maybe help the argument, but they routinely break my system such that I lose time that was intended to be spent on playing a game. They also conveniently reset some of my settings which always tends to favor the way Microsoft would like for me to use my computer. Or they reinstall fucking Candy Crush.

For god's sake, even Apple, the prime example of knows-better-than-you lets you never update, if that's what you really want.

I saw one happening on a PC in a conference room two weeks ago at the very moment a talk should begin. Nobody could do anything with the pc until the update was over. Great user experience.

Fault from the admin I would say. Updates can be delayed or scheduled. I know that this won't help in the moment.

Enterprise versions are updated based on the admin policy.

I recently had to do the forced April Windows 10 update, and not only did it take 10 hours, the UX was horrific... e.g. Random CMD prompt windows popping up etc.

If that is allowed to pass QA in Microsoft, then it kind of scares me what can happen if they were to acquire GitHub.

10 hours? You on a dinosaur computer or something???

Playing the devil's advocate here, but some of the forced updates come as a result of problems found in telemetry data...

But I generally agree, I want my OS to ask me every time it wants to send a crashdump (or anything else).

Updates are ok when they're bug fixes and security patches. They're not when they're forced feature and UI changes and often break installations.

That's not to say they couldn't revert to their embrace, extend, and extinguish tactics of the 90s, even under future leadership.

I feel that no big corporation should own GitHub, even if their investors feel differently.

I'm not enthused about the idea of Github being bought. But on what grounds do you suspect that the Microsoft of the 90s is just lurking, like a conscious spirit, to reveal itself after a decade?

CEO Nadella started working at Microsoft in 1992, but the executives who coined and lived the EEE phrase are all out. Is Nadella a sleeper agent? If not, what entity at Microsoft will subvert his leadership?

> what entity at Microsoft will subvert his leadership?

I agree, it seems that both Gates and Ballmer have found new callings in life, which has left Nadella with pretty much control of the company. I remember almost feeling sorry for the guy when he took over, what freedom could he possibly have between those two? A lot, it seems in retrospect.

I've mentioned this a number of times, some of Microsoft's open source tooling is under the very permissive MIT license. In the case of GitHub it just means competitors will rise up and replace GitHub. Remember when SourceForge was the GitHub of the day, and then it became bad, and finally it's acceptable with the new owner. People will outright ditch GitHub if evil is truly done to it, but Microsoft doesn't want that, they'll do everything they can to not screw up GitHub.

Whoa, hang on a second. SourceForge? Acceptable with new owners? Have you tried to download anything from the site recently? They may not be bundling crapware with downloads anymore but it's still an ad-laden slow-loading pile of trash unusable website. (I don't think I'm being hyperbolic there, to be honest!)

I usually get to a download page and it auto prompts for downloads. I mean why are you not using an ad-blocker?

I lived through the 90s too. It's been 20+ years since the peak of the Microsoft that gave them the reputation you're reflecting.

If "I lived through the 90s" was how I measured technology and companies, I'd sure as hell not be using Apple products - their technology was pretty terrible then, and the company was incoherent. Would any rational person say that the terrible tech and incoherence then translates to how one would accept what they produce in 2018? Some companies change, some don't (see: oracle). It seems a healthier approach is to measure the behavior and state of a company in the present.

First off were the 90s macs really terrible in comparison to the present state of the art at the time?

Second its easier for people to grow to be better at their job than to grow into being better people.

Re: macs. Yes. MacOS releases up to 1999 lacked features common in other systems, like full preemptive multitasking and memory protection. Windows NT had that in the mid 90s, and various Unix flavors had it for decades. I liked the UI on the macs vs windows95/98/NT or Linux/Solaris, but the stability of macs was a joke. Everyone was pretty happy when they cleaned up NeXTSTEP and turned it into the basis for OSX - that was a very smart move.

A lot of the tooling is released under the MIT License. It's kind of hard to say they have ulterior motives when you get the right to fork and keep.

Visual Studio was the best Java editor by far. I wish Sun hadn’t blocked them as it took almost 5 years for Jetbrains to make a decent editor.

I loved through the 90s and think that Microsoft not requiring Windows shows that the danger from the 90s isn’t the same today.

Now it’s cloud vs OS lockin.

I lived through the 90s, and Ace of Base was the best band ever.

Sort of like the ship of Theseus, if all the people working at and running microsoft are different, is it even the same company?

Well since companies are people, more like skin cells. They all get replaced every whatever days but you're still you!

Culture can persist despite replacing all employees over time.

> Microsoft has embraced Github with it's recent .Net core development, they are one of the largest contributors with some incredible cross platform dev tooling.

Not going to deny this, but that's really the reason I'm not comfortable with the idea of a MS owned Github. Microsoft doing open source development is great. Microsoft trying to influence open source and FOSS development as a whole, not so much. Them aquiring a central hub of such development efforts doesn't signal good things to come: The users of Github have nothing to gain from this, whereas MS has, and there's a non-zero chance of them ruining the thing for everyone in the process.

Microsoft has been relying on Github to share all of its UWP samples for the last few years. This year, they added all their developer docs to Github so they can be directly addressed and updated by the community. They've done a good job of responding to PRs and issues. I write Hololens software and I could not have achieved such rapid development without their examples and developer outreach.

However, Github is one of my favorite services, professionally and for hobbies, and I really don't want significant changes. I also use VSTS (Microsoft's code+PM online service) and it is a beast. They don't need to be heavily intermingled.

That code you mentioned has opt-out spyware. It's not in the spirit of free software at all. It's just part of embrace, extend, extinguish.

Microsoft has never been about free software.

They are however embracing open source in a manner that feels very sincere to me.

For the record, the so-called "spyware" is telemetry which exists only in the SDK for .NET Core and not the actual runtime that you would ship to the user with the software. It is anonymous data, completely open source so it really is only what they say it is, and the first time you use it it tells you how to disable it.

> so-called "spyware" is telemetry


I wonder what Linus Tovalds is thinking right now. If I remember correctly, he wrote Git because Perforce was forcing him to use Microsoft software licences.


Git was developed as an OSS clone of BitKeeper (which was originally provided freely to Linux kernel developers under the agreement that they not develop a clone).


> Git was developed as an OSS clone of BitKeeper

Git was not developed as a clone of BitKeeper, it has a very different design (snapshot-based content-addressed filesystem, versus the SCCS "weave"). If anything, git was a (much faster) clone of Monotone, minus the heavy cryptography focus which made Monotone so slow.

Git != GitHub

C# is managed with GC, VS Code is Electron. MS has no native tools. QT rules that one.

UWP is native, you can code rich GUI in C++ without any GC involved.

Currently it only works for MS platforms (Windows incl. ARM, xbox, embedded) but they might make it cross platform in some future. Technically the API is not that complex, i.e. unlike WPF it’s not that hard to port from the current Direct3D to Vulkan or GLES or Metal.

There's .NET Native, not to mention older techs like Win32.

Not the same as real native like C++.

Probably news to the Win32 devs of the world that their technology is "not the same as real native like C++." What distinction do you mean to make here?

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

Who is this guy?

There is enough just criticism of Microsoft's bad practices that remain damaging to this day.

So no, MS is clearly a bad steward for GitHub.

Yeah, let's evaluate corporations for decisions made decades ago by people no longer at the company. At least spend 15 minutes reading about the progress MS has made in recent years before throwing around shade.

Well, you know, this wasn't just an "insane" guy at the top who now left the company and everything's cool. Companies have culture, and while we can agree today Microsoft's not the same Microsoft from 10 years ago, we shouldn't forget their history so soon.

> this wasn't just an "insane" guy at the top who now left the company and everything's cool

Satya Nadella has completely re-organized MS inside-and-out since taking the helm in 2014. It is a VERY different company than it was even 5 years ago. In March [1], Microsoft even went so far as to officially disband the Windows department and merge it into something called "Experiences & Devices".

[1] https://www.theverge.com/2018/3/29/17176220/microsoft-window...

It's different, but not very different. They still have a lot of lock-in like Outlook (ActiveSync), DirectX, exFAT and so on and so forth. They show no sign of dropping lock-in, except in markets where they are way weaker than competition.

How is DirectX a lock-in? Vulcan/OpenGL are available. Using Outlook/ActiveSync is no more a lock-in than depending on GSuite (or ANY business productivity suite), and I fail to remotely even understand how exFAT is a problem. Weak arguments.

> How is DirectX a lock-in?

It's MS only. It's more obvious in cases like Xbox, where MS don't support anything except DirectX. I.e. developers are forced to use it if they want to release for Xbox.

exFAT is an issue since it's a patented filesystem that MS pushed as a standard for SD cards. You can't freely use it (unless you just ignore those patents on your own risk).

ActiveSync doesn't have commonly available FOSS clients, so you can't use it on Linux easily. It's highly irritating (since it's widely entrenched in corporate environments). And etc. and etc.

The progress they've made? Baking in more spyware into Windows and other products than ever before? Taking more control away from computer users than ever before?

What planet are you people on?

> Baking in more spyware into Windows

Lost your argument as soon as you said "spyware". It's like calling everyone you disagree with a "terrorist".

> Taking more control away from computer users than ever before?

Like what?

You can proliferate the doublespeak if you want but I'll call it what it is.

Like rebooting computers whenever they feel like it. Reenabling previously disabled options etc. Your head is in the sand but you don't have to live this way.

They can reverse those decisions. Yet they don't, because they benefit from it. So it's not a justification.

The one thing that I like about Github is that everything is public by default and you have to pay to keep your code private. I feel like a positive consequence of that business choice was the opening up of way more software. Gitlab, while being very awesome doesn't have that same rule and neither does Bitbucket. It's my assumption that this is the biggest reason there's so much open source code flowing right now.

It makes me wonder whether I'll be able to find as many random interesting projects just by searching for things anymore.

I'm a bit sad about this.

Though there is indeed much more software open source lately, I feel that is mostly a consequence of the free and easy availability of open source hosting.

I still remember the old days where most opensource projects were doing self-hosting or using sourceforge. Self-hosting is something that most developers that just want to build something nice won't consider. And using sourceforge back then was also atrocious (they didn't exactly have an easy to use UI, if I remember correctly).

This makes me think that what contributed the most to there being so much open source, is the easyness of creating your own repository on GitHub. With just a few clicks you have one.

Not having to pay for private is the reason we chose Bitbucket back in the days.

Same here, but for each one of us there was another who probably said 'screw it' and just put their stuff on github anyway.

Looking forward to the big rebranding to Microsoft GitHub Team Cloud Services for Enterprise 365 2019®.

*subscription required

Seems like the view here is pretty negative. I feel like most people here haven't worked with Microsoft dev products recently. They're getting better. I guess the crowd here isn't typically in the .NET world.

I don't care if MS is getting better lately.

The fact it's getting better is obviously a positive thing, but will it stay that way in the future? no one knows.

I like the fact Github is independent of all the big players. I really, really, really hope it stays a neutral ground.

Also, if acquired by MS, I'm not that afraid for github itself. However, what is at risk in my opinion is all the integrations around github. There is a rich and striving ecosystem surrounding github. Tools like appveyor, travis-ci, coverall, readthedocs, codacy are really useful, ease a lot development and are infinitely easier to setup/maintain than a Jenkins box plus a few slaves. What would happen to this ecosystem remains to be seen.

> The fact it's getting better is obviously a positive thing but will it stay that way in the future? no one knows.

This is such a prejudiced statement. It can be said of any company.

That's the point. No one acquires GitHub so no one can eventually corrupt it with partisan "my stuff is better than your stuff" idiocy.

GitHub works because it effectively belongs to "no one" as far as the big players are concerned. Sure they might themselves go bad one day but there is no point in hasting this for some two cents Azure/AWS/GCP mode.

I am not worried about the ecosystem. See VS Code.

If the acquisition goes through, VS Code is probably going to kill Atom, which is my go-to editor for many tasks. VS Code may be better overall, but it's not for me, and I'll have to change my workflow.

I agree. Atom is definitely in danger. They will not give up VS Code and maintaining two "identical" products makes no sense.

Particularly with how they interact on GitHub now, it's quite impressive. I've reported issues for docs.microsoft.com, participated in discussions on Visual Basic development, etc. and while there's still definitely that corporate veil to some degree, they're extremely responsive, they're very active in responding to requests and discussing fixes.

I generally now hope that whatever Microsoft thing I'm dealing with somewhere ends up linking to GitHub, because everyone on the side of the company that's working with GitHub is pretty on point.

Which is what gives me some hope that they could manage this acquisition right: They're already doing GitHub the way GitHub should be done.

Even when it leads from GH to internal email chains, they're really good about keeping those on the GH issue in the loop... often from only parallel issues.

Issue filed in node sql driver... azure tech notices the issue, raises to sql team... sql team dev starts replying and working to resolve... recommends patch to upstream project in github... issue resolved.

Oracle would NEVER do something like that. It was actually very impressive, and that's just my one anecdote, and I've seen many others.

MS buying GitHub will be one of the worse things to happen to the industry in a long time. But should end all discussion that MS has changed.

FB, Google and the other big tech companies that contribute so much will have to go elsewhere and we will have a fragmentation mess.

I swear MS just does not want us to have nice things.

> Seems like the view here is pretty negative.

Well it's not like the reason for being negative is unfounded. MS has a long history of running services into the ground, and their recent 'we love open source' charade brings back strong memories of E3 for many folks.

I have never seen any good .NET code in the wild. A typical story IMO is to come into a workplace where they are trying to dump legacy .NET systems as soon as possible because they are incredibly brittle. .NET seems to be one of the biggest software scams of all time. Great vendor lock-in though. Visual Studio, MS-SQL, LINQ, Entity framework etc... the only solution is to rewrite everything.

I don't know what you're on about. C# is basically a "better Java" so there's no particular reason you can't write good software in it.

That's very subjective. C# has tons of useless keywords that you just know some arrogant dev is going to use because they can, which then no junior can work with. It also has a worse ecosystem for writing server software (while obviously a better ecosystem for writing Windows applications) and is less suitable for cross-platform work.

It is subjective, but things like genetics and reflection I think are better in C#. I am not sure which keywords you think are "useless." Either way though, they're quite similar. There is no innate quality about C# where the code has to be terrible and the only hope is a total rewrite in something else.

> is less suitable for cross-platform work

I have hands-on experience with Unity3D and .NET Core 2. Both are cross-platform and worked relatively well. I’ve built MacOS, iOS, Android software with Unity, and Linux software with .NET Core.

I’ve heard Xamarin is also good for mobiles but haven’t personally used it.

Can you elaborate on this "keyword" statement? I find the statement very confusing especially when comparing it to C, modern C++, modern Java or any functional "magic" languages.

The second part is true. .NET does not share the same wide ecosystem as Java.

I would say StackOverflow is a pretty good example

Stack Overflow works pretty well.

But perhaps not without some pain for those involved making it: https://blog.codinghorror.com/why-ruby/

I've done legacy work in both and I'd never choose Ruby over C#. It might be a little faster to write the code the first time around, but maintaining a big legacy project stinks.

Also, none of Atwood's reasons is "I don't like working in C#." And several of the concerns in this post are obsolete.

Actually, I find Ruby code much easier to look at than most Java / C# UglyCapsRunOn word-soup. YMMV.

Well who cares about that, really. I'm not talking about how pretty the code is; I'm talking about the ease of maintaining it. Ruby code frequently requires digging through the method and methods it calls to figure out the expected input.

I think that's the point. I'm personally worried Microsoft may have a very narrow view of what GitHub is. A lot of tech hosted there doesn't even run on Windows, or isn't even related to software. (legal, political, docs, guides, etc.)

what makes you think that? they killed off their own code hosting site in codeplex and moved everything to github. they are one of the largest if not the largest open source contributors in the world. and .net core is setting itself up to be a major player in cross-platform application development. it has a chance, if microsoft brings over uwp, wpf, and windows forms to .net core, to take over cross-platform gui development. with the windows subsystem for linux, windows 10 can run most linux-based software. they've developed the hottest ide at the moment on top of github developed technology.

i have a feeling they get it just fine.

You mention a lot of stuff that's in the same '.NET world' skellera mentioned, but the currently dominant GUI platform is the web, and neither is going to do take over. There's also still embedded software, hardware description, databases, emulators/simulators, competing virtual machines and GUI frameworks, a whole bunch of non-tech stuff, etc.

They do get a lot of this stuff, but I feel like whatever they want to do with Github is more geared towards average Joe .NET developer. Possibly making the platform less attractive for everything else through neglect.

The new Microsoft has made it clear that they want to support as many areas as they can. Azure does not have any lock-in of a specific platform (other than Azure itself in some ways) and Microsoft is constantly trying to get their tools to work in Linux and Mac. While they obviously would prefer you to be on .Net, they realize that lock-in ultimately hurts them.

Just give it a little more time. They are turning around years of company culture and they're doing a great job at it. If VS Code is a sign of future products, I'm excited to see what they come out with down the road.

Strongly disagree. MSFT is aggressively chasing the "open source"/Silicon Valley crowd, even at the expense of Joe .NET Developer.

Their main competition is AWS and GCP. Very different world.

not really. half the stuff i mentioned is all about the web. that’s the core market for .net core and visual studio code. visual studio code is certainly not .net centric at all. the in the box language support primarily targets web languages.

and i don’t get why you are mentioning those other things. what do they have to do with anything regarding microsoft understanding github? microsoft is no doubt and expert in all of those fields anyway, at least internally.

and what cross-platform gui framework would compete with a .net core cross-platform implementation of uwp, wpf, and windows forms? nothing, in my opinion. people would flood the .net ecosystem to get away from things like c++ and qt and the horror of writing script-based GUIs in python.

Since the Core era, not all .NET applications are built for Windows either.

Considering you bring up the second part, it makes me wonder if maybe outside of the obvious (owning GitHub), perhaps they're after the extra talent to bolster their SharePoint product.

Azure team gives a shit about "not invented here". They are exclusively interested in your cpu cycles and bytes in memory. Who organizes the cycles and bytes, they do not care.

Surely, there are preferred stacks (e.g. in the high level PaaS areas), but this includes node, python and .NET.

PS: one save bet: Java will never be on their support list :). But only for legal reasons :)

IIRC, internally Microsoft views GNU/Linux and GitHub as Big Satan and Little Satan, respectively.

Depends on who you talk to... I'm pretty sure it's MS developers that drove the integration of git repositories into TFS (many were already using git locally for local branches and commits with TFS repos). The move to GitHub for all MS OSS was probably developer driven too.

The Office team is probably more than happy to not be hamstrung to windows only. Particularly Office 365. Azure has been using a lot of non-ms/windows tech from the start.

I'm sure there's some in the recently re-org that used to be Windows still have issues, but the old guard is largely gone now.

I constantly remind myself that HN does not actually represent what most customers want and/or need in the real world.

Most routine jobs/contracts at the coalface are still Java/.NET (possibly with a bit of Kotlin thrown in) - I even see companies looking for PHP developers on a weekly basis.

They are definitely alive and kicking, though if you judged based on this website alone, they all ceased to exist 10 years, replaced by Golang, Elixir and Clojure.

Mild exaggeration (and it's not a criticism of the people here), but you get my drift. People here like to talk about new/shiny/cutting-edge - and that's fine, but it's also not necessarily what customers/clients want or need.

C#/.NET in particular, though not perfect, is one of the most pleasurable languages/frameworks to work in.

Many visitors to HN are concerned with selling their skills to various customers, whereas others are concerned with the best technologies for building a successful startup. If you're selling your skills to a legacy institution and want to switch to selling them to a startup, looking at tech discussed on HN could be useful.

The fact that the Microsoft of the past 2 years is "getting better" at something they've tried to do for many decades is a great reason to be worried about them taking ownership of a product they are unfamiliar with.

e.g. "GitHub is really starting to improve again" - Devs in 2050

Why do you think "they are unfamiliar with it"? On the contrary, Microsoft has a lot of stuff ongoing in GitHub. Seems many critical people in this thread don't have a clue.

It's actually really interesting. Seems like internally, MSFT has kind of been let loose and no longer has to adhere to the more strict style Ballmer was a fan of. We've seen this with them hiring OSS talent (Miguel de Icaza, who was a pretty big advocate of trying to make MSFT less proprietary and locked down).

Externally though, the image looks completely different to those who don't really care for what's happening at MSFT - they just seem like an outdated Apple. That's slowly starting to change, I think the Verge recently put out a piece claiming they've switched positions. However, a lot of major consumer problems (Windows Update, Skype) have plagued the company tremendously. No amount of loving Typescript or VSC is going to change that.

Microsoft products are becoming worse on privacy:

1. LinkedIn's dark UI patterns are as bad as they've ever been. Bringing the same to GitHub or otherwise LinkedIn-ifying it seems like a very real risk.

2. Ramping up telemetry. Key loggers in Windows 10, opt-out telemetry in .NET Core, seems impossible to get VSCode to stop phoning home.

This is the stuff we very badly want to avoid.

1. Agreed.

2. (Windows 10) Isn't that only in the technical preview versions? Or is the keylogger in the release versions too?


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