1) They’ve acknowledged the skepticism around the acquisition.
2) They’ve expressed their commitment to keep GitHub an independent platform (like they did with LinkedIn.)
3) Nat Friedman, although I was not familiar with him prior to this, seems like an ideal candidate to run GitHub.
This, overall, is giving me a more positive impression of Microsoft. Now what remains to be seen: Will they follow through on these commitments? Will they continue to listen to the community?
1. What is happening to Atom? I have tried VS code and don't really like it due to the difference in how the 2 systems are designed to work (Atom being more "plugins are king", VSCode being more "kitchen sink included by first-party"). I'd hate to see my favorite editor lose it's major backing. If MS makes a commitment to continue to develop Atom, or they work with someone else to "transfer" development over to them in a way that's not half-assed, it would go a LONG way toward solidifying the trust they are trying to build (at least to me).
2. How will other companies who are hosting on GitHub react to this? Will Facebook/Google/Apple start pulling their code from GitHub? Will we go back to having to learn how to contribute to each project individually?
There's definitely major benefits for diversity in this area (meaning not having the vast majority of projects on one platform), but I'm hoping we (as developers in whole) don't throw the baby out with the bathwater here.
GitHub has by most accounts helped bring in a renaissance of open source software. It's never been easier to contribute to FOSS at any level, and I'm hoping we don't lose that as everyone diversifies where they host their source code...
For these companies who owned GitHub hardly plays a role. They want to attract developers and go wherever the crowds go. If there is mass migration to mercurial-superhost.com they will follow. It's just an outlet.
The question is more relevant for companies and communities who built their infrastructure on it and might worry for good or not so good reasons.
Long before the acquisition, we've been hosting important stuff in private GitHub repositories. Including having strategic discussions in those private repositories.
We've also done a lot of that stuff in public too. Some might say a bit too much, given that we've had things leaked and/or misinterpreted w.r.t product direction in the past.
I still agree with your point, but I believe more of this sort of thing is happening. Lots of stuff that has no real reason to be private is just being open source by default.
Wow! I am very surprised by that. Is that an officially allowed policy? Or is it something that is "don't ask for permission, ask for forgiveness"?
The company I work at is very careful about keeping our intellectual property on our infrastructure, and I am surprised that a larger company like Microsoft doesn't have similar policies.
It would be highly contradictory for MS to take the position, as a matter of policy, that it is too risky for them to ever place confidential business data onto a third party cloud-hosted SaaS system, because that is precisely the risk they are asking every one of their customers to take.
Similarly, if you have concerns about putting your company's source code into GitHub now, you should be equally concerned about putting your company's prerelease annual report on the office365 onedrive.
That is a good point though, it’s becoming more and more inconvenient for a company to self host everything. Microsoft does stand to benefit from everyone becoming more accustomed to relying on 3rd party services in the cloud.
Essentially, choose your vulnerability: cloud provider single point of failure or in-house lack of resources
It depends on how important the code is.
I don't imagine MS will ever move Office or Windows to external servers, but a lot of other stuff is fair game.
There is always a security/convenience trade off.
and yet, which company released an OS update with an open root account with no password, patched it in a way that broke file sharing, then a couple of months later released an update with another password bypass bug? Hobbling people with security theatre isn't begetting good or secure code.
Microsoft actually hand over OS code to states regularly for certain contracts so I figure they don't need to protect most of thier code like that.
I think this makes more sense for a secret project (e.x. the next iPhone), but honestly as a security person it seems overkill for anything outside national security responsible code, like state sponsored malware.
I also find it strange that the code is apparently somehow accessible outside that building (see the fired comment). If this was anything beyond security theatre, it'd be on an airgapped network and that wouldn't even be a concern (as the employee wouldn't be able to access the code from their laptop). Seems excessive for very little gain.
You may think it’s unmarked, but if you know how to spot them they’re very easy to pick out.
You think the CIA would do their clandestine work on cars labeled "CIA" ?
Unmarked police cars often have multiple radio antennae, flexible lights, and even government plates, they simply lack explicit police markings and light bars.
Way back when, Microsoft used to host a bunch of auth servers for banks. A friend of mine mentioned an armed guard in front of the data center for that particular service.
I've worked on teams at MS where there was a (non-armed) guard checking everyone who got off the elevator, but before I joined MS I was once left alone in a room full of computers open to the Windows source tree, wearing my "do not leave guest unattended" badge.
Mileage might vary and all that.
Microsoft owns the data center the code lives in and certainly takes care of physical security.
We would definitely never store our proprietary code on systems run by anyone else, regardless of who runs/owns them.
All those companies keep their privates private. GitHub is just a public showroom for them.
Again this is different for other/smaller companies.
Nothing changes immediately for any of us, to me the biggest concern is what happens after those roadmapped projects have run through. What goes next on that roadmap, and will it stick to the principles I love about GitHub, or will it start to veer into Microsoft's territory?
No-one's going to join a company because of which front end to git they use. It's more a question "do Apple/facebook etc want Microsoft to have all of their private source code to look for exploits/rip off/hand over the government etc etc"?
Second, this is the same business model as Office 365, and I'm not aware of that raising any particular eyebrows outside of the fairly limited crowd that can't trust anyone. If you're cool with entrusting your email to Microsoft, your source code is not a great leap.
I could be wrong but my perception is that Atom is losing market share to VSCode all on its own– new devs are much more likely to adopt vscode & no growth ~= decline for an editor. Couple that with the fact that no one pays for Atom...
IMO They don't need to "kill" atom, they just need to wait a couple years, at which point it will just Yet Another Editor down the list with TextWrangler et al., if the next Atom doesn't come along and hasten its decline even further.
Atom still has more plugins, or did last time I looked (which was, admittedly, quite a while ago), and I think the ecosystem is a good indicator of how many people are actively using something.
Tutorial eco-system as well. When I jumped into JS development, all the getting started guides had Install VSCode as step 1.
So now I use VSCode.
Were those two sentences in the wrong order?!
This was me basically 100%. If you're doing JS development, VSCode gives you so much out of the box it's hard to bring myself to even attempt to configure Vim to do all that, even if it is ""totally possible."" I miss the advanced text manipulation capabilities from vim (along with a few other things) but the upside of VSCode is just too great.
Besides, Microsoft has enough PR skills to avoid unpleasant announcements about redundant products for a while after an acquisition they know to be worrying.
Quite common for new owners to let old employees make promises they can’t keep and then make them disappear and change plans.
Not saying that Microsoft has a plan to 'embrace extend extinguish', but if they did, this is how they would go about it.
Until they aren't. I really don't see MS putting work into two code editors that are in direct competition with each other. I'm sure they'll let the dust settle for a while, but Atom will vanish from Microsoft's product list. No doubt.
Then... who knows.
Github should announce that Atom has become an Apache foundation project. Github then says it will provide x number of developers for an initial three year period. Probably won't make everyone happy but it should defuse most of the angst.
How silly of Adobe to name it like that. :D
How can that be given that Adobe is killing the flash runtime?
Funnily enough, this was my immediate concern, followed by Electron generally. It actually prompted me to go all-in on Vim: I've used Vim in terminals for a very long time, but never found a graphical Vim that I liked. Happily, I've now found Oni, which provides a VS Code-like interface around Neovim: https://www.onivim.io
Git hosting and the associated tools are replaceable, the strength of GitHub is the network effect, so we'll have to see what happens. Regardless of what happens, we've progressed a long way from Subversion and BugZilla, so I don't mind if projects move to a more diverse set of modern hosting. Personally, I'll put my own public repositories whereever the community goes.
Since they said Github will remain independent, so Atom will, I think. Maybe I'm too optimistic but when I think about VSCode's business model, promoting Azure rather than selling the editor itself, they have no reason to kill Atom. They might be integrating Azure with Atom.
A fork won't have the same team working on it, a fork won't have the same domain knowledge over the internals, a fork won't have the roadmap or what was currently planned and how to do it, a fork won't have the same unified development effort (if MS "kills" atom, FB won't be the only one picking it up, there will absolutely be others that won't like the direction FB is taking, and now you don't just have Atom, you have AtomFB, Atom2, NuAtom, etc...)
It won't be that big of a deal at the end of the day (it's not like there is a shortage of competition in this area), but I would be much more on-board with this if MS handles Atom well.
Eventually, though, they might want to allow an easy transition to VS Code in some way to cut redundancies but doing it too soon would anger too many people. Atom seems to be losing market share anyways.
How will Microsoft/GitHub handle such secret requests? Will Microsoft even sue the DoJ to stop it - or will they settle again the moment they obtain a small compromise from the government?
Biggest hurdles normally are:
- big chunk, own branch, small chunks?
- Contract to sign?
- signed commits, unsigned commits?
- changelog file?
- patch via mail?
- extra review tool?
In the end it's always a git push. Github only makes it look more beautiful.
Atom had more plugins for some time, but they had mediocre quality.
From my very limited exposure to VSCode's plugins, it seems they are a lot more limited in how they can change the editor's behavior compared to elisp code in Emacs; if Atom plugins are similarly flexible, then I'm not sure you can say it's (strictly) technically superior if you can only implement a small subset of what you can do in competitor's system. At most it's better at some tasks and worse at others if this is the case.
 I didn't say "Emacs plugins" since there is no distinction between user-written elisp code and core editor elisp code and you don't need to create any plugin project or such, which I think makes for a much more organic and pleasant customization experience.
You lose flexibility, you gain stability, discoverability, speed, etc.
As far as I know, the VSCode plugins run in their own process, which makes the editor much more responsive when it loaded many plugins.
I agree that restricting what plugins can do can lead to better stability and speed at the expense of extensibility.
Sincere question: Does "more performant" simply mean "faster"?
I meant, I found it much more responsive.
Microsoft isn't going to go around snooping competitors' source code any more than they are going to go around snooping competitors' email.
I don't expect Microsoft, as a company, "to go around snooping competitors' source code any more than they are going to go around snooping competitors' email" or Azure infrastructure or code editor or putting loggers in peripherals or any other tinfoil theories.
I _do_ expect some companies to reconsider their policies in light of the acquisition and decide that other options make more sense for them for numerous reasons, including but not limited to not wanting to hand (even more) money over to a competitor for a service they don't necessarily need Microsoft to provide to them, or if they suspect Microsoft will significantly change the existing ToU/ToS in ways those companies would rather not deal with.
I do not know whether this migration has finished.
Perhaps tooling can help with this. Github, Bitbucket, and Gitlab (and I presume some of the lesser used solutions out there) all support some type of forking and pull request model, even though that's not core git. An abstraction layer atop that can hopefully obviate a hard dependency on one platform.
> 1. What is happening to Atom? I have tried VS code and don't really like it due to the difference in how the 2 systems are designed to work (Atom being more "plugins are king", VSCode being more "kitchen sink included by first-party"). I'd hate to see my favorite editor lose it's major backing. If MS makes a commitment to continue to develop Atom, or they work with someone else to "transfer" development over to them in a way that's not half-assed, it would go a LONG way toward solidifying the trust they are trying to build (at least to me).
> 2. How will other companies who are hosting on GitHub react to this? Will Facebook/Google/Apple start pulling their code from GitHub? Will we go back to having to learn how to contribute to each project individually?
> There's definitely major benefits for diversity in this area (meaning not having the vast majority of projects on one platform), but I'm hoping we (as developers in whole) don't throw the baby out with the bathwater here.
> GitHub has by most accounts helped bring in a renaissance of open source software. It's never been easier to contribute to FOSS at any level, and I'm hoping we don't lose that as everyone diversifies where they host their source code...
I started with sublime, went to atom, went back to sublime, and finally moved to vscode.. trust me you can't go wrong. It has everything and extensions.
It's everything I wished for.
I am however using this as an opportunity to rely on any one single place less.
I'm in the process of mirroring my git repos on GitLab, and trying to think of a way to signify that both the GitHub and GitLab repos are "canonical", and that issues/PRs/contributions can happen at both.
> synonyms: recognized, authoritative, authorized, accepted, sanctioned
That's what I meant for it to mean anyway...
How can two different endpoints both be authoritative? What happens if they differ?
I want both to be master, so that users who are comfortable on both platforms are willing to make contributions to the codebase, so that any one service/system going down won't stop development, and so that as the "community" migrates around different platforms they can always find the full version of the software.
Recommending simplifying a process to the point that it no longer solves the problem it's trying to solve isn't helpful.
You might fake it (and meet your stated goals) by maintaining a true master behind the scenes and syncing to two public slaves... (ie, forks you treat as peers, each with a "master" branch) but that still leaves neither of them truly "canonical" -- a designation of authority that would apply to the place where you'd resolve conflicts given simultaneous commits.
If anything, that comment makes it clear to me that they're staying mobile because they don't implicitly or explicitly trust any of the current providers.
I think if they implicitly trusted someone, they'd just migrate to them immediately - why wouldn't you?
It's also really weird how people idealize GitHub. Did they forget GitHub was not a non-profit association, they were losing money, they deleted users repositories on their own, they had management issues, and people have been waiting some features for very long, specially open source maintainers? Also GitHub "forced" a lot of organizations to migrate somewhere else when they changed their pricing model.
Moreover, although I agree Microsoft is making efforts to change , pro-Microsoft partisans make it clear much of this is due to the new CEO. What one CEO does, another can undo. GitHub's bus factor is now 1.
I would much rather have seen them go public. They were losing money, but not, last I saw, at a rate that was absurd for building a SaaS business. Is there some reason to think they couldn't have gotten into the black? And if so, is there some reason to think Microsoft will let them burn cash forever without getting anything valuable in return?
Previously, GitHub's success depended on GitHub serving their customers and users. Now it depends on the notions of some guy in Seattle. Some guy whose job is, at least by market cap, 99% focused on other things. It's reasonable for customers to worry about that.
If they are merely yielding to market forces, then that's not much of a comfort. Github was a leader in this, and Microsoft's customers have a strong bias toward followers and laggards.
With Microsoft, the bites have been numerous and some are ongoing.
I completely agree with that as a general principle, and I don't disagree with anything you've said outside of this quote. But are you suggesting that Nadella is going to leave Microsoft anytime soon?
Github was making over $200m/year, and was poised for strong growth in enterprises as they got with the times. I expect they could have gotten to GAAP profitability whenever they needed to. But they should have kept spending on growth to maximize market share.
The only way that you guard against being an acquisition target is to remain private and not take money from outside investors.
It's quite common to have the following scheme:
1) nothing significant happens for 1 to 2 years, the big company slowly integrates the smaller one.
2) historical dev/ops starts to be tired of the heaviness of the processes and all the politics going on in the big organization. After 3 to 4 years, they start leaving, and knowledge begins slowly to get lost.
3) new features are slower to be pushed in production, often with major regressions.
4) after 5 years the service is becoming more and more unstable and/or is not evolving anymore.
5) after 7 to 10 years, the product is killed-off or put in limbo.
Really? For its size? It seems like Google, Apple, and Facebook are all much more productive in OSS. The only open source Microsoft product I'm aware of using is VS Code. To my understanding, they haven't open sourced Edge, their JS engine, their compiler, their word processors, or really anything else of note. I guess I can give them a little credit for .NET Core, but would that even have happened of Mono hadn't existed?
> their compiler
Microsoft makes half a dozen compilers, for as many languages:
The only one that I know of that is closed is C++.
> anything else of note
all of the tools and integration with outlook is pretty smooth...
Skype on MacOS tends to get stuck in some loop that eats my CPU. So does MS Excel. MS Excel also had other, very annoying issues in the not so distant past.
Sure, as a MacOS user i'm maybe not that important to MSFT, but the quality of some of their products is surprisingly low.
I would ignore this for a while (since plenty of other apps would also start up again) and then wonder what is eating my CPU. Surprise surprise, it's an Excel message box.
"Skype has abysmal performance"
"Performance in not Skype's priority"
I thought I would give some excellent examples of how to use "performance" with "Skype" - all of which are true!
You think the privacy nightmare of windows 10 happened in the 80's-90's?
Nat Friedman is a legend in the open source community. He founded Ximian in '99 with Miguel de Icaza, who both meant a lot for the Gnome community (e.g. via products such as Ximian Evolution) and Mono (FOSS .NET for *NIX). They got bought by Novell where he also got a top position. Nat has been busy with FOSS for a long time, and he _believes_ in it.
Some verification on the above plus other details can be found here on Wikipedia 
As a final note, "I’m not asking for your trust, but I’m committed to earning it." is very humble, professional, and clever.
Which is a pattern we have seen from their takeover of hotmail and more recently with skype, where they also waited a few years before starting the transition from independent brand to a sub brand under one of Microsoft estates.
What you are going to see when MS is done integrating the leadership of github into MSFT and Nat have been replaced by a next phase CEO, is that githubs CI hooks will become more and more symbiotic with azure, and the a lot of the documentation tools offered will hook directly into office365 tools, which will require a synchronization of accounts with MS other SaaS offerings.
However, I'm very skeptical about the idea that GitHub is going to somehow become an Azure-only walled garden. It makes little sense business-wise. The entire point of buying GitHub was to acquire an audience that they are aware is not necessarily interested in Azure or their stack. Forcing it on them will only cause them to leave (there is plenty of competition in the code hosting space now), which will in turn reduce revenue. I give MS enough credit to know that the only way they succeed in this space is to provide value, not vendor lock-in. This is true now, and it will be even more true in 5 years when other big companies inevitably start following Microsoft into this space and competing for market share.
If they wanted to just sell services to people already using MS products, they already had VSTS for that.
Microsoft is a gigantic organisation with very good working conditions. This leads to people with very long tenures working in highly defined and specialised roles within the company. Career development does happen, and is actively encouraged by Microsoft, but you're usually moving into a role which is just as niche as your last.
When a major acquisition occurs of a smaller organisation, it's usually done with a promise of keeping independent leadership and a degree of organisational separation. However, as middle-management staff rotate out of the smaller company naturally, the roles that they vacate are very attractive to Microsoft employees who want to have a bit more of that start-up feeling, and a slightly wider remit to make change.
So through a kind of organisational osmotic pressure, even if the leadership of the acquired company remains independent, the middle ranks of the acquired company become permeated by life-long Microsoft-ers. None of this is particularly bad - I just want to make it clear that Microsoft's definition of independence is not everyone's definition thereof.
OT, but I love that term!
Their absolute best bet is to sit on GitHub, feed it money, offer the paid features as an additional perk for MSDN subscribers through an account linking method, and call it a day. The developer goodwill they can buy being a good steward of GitHub far surpasses any other value they could extract from it.
Starting with "any existing Microsoft account is now a valid Github login". Then maybe "you can more easily use VS (or VS Code) with Github and deploy to Azure, if you use a Microsoft account with Github" and "you can merge your Github account into your Microsoft account". Then "all new accounts on Github are Microsoft accounts, you can no longer make a separate one".
Whether they go all the way to "there's no such thing as a separate Github account anymore", not soon, but probably one day - they've been trying to centralize accounts between all their services for years and years, haven't they?
After several retries to talk to them and maybe get somebody more technical on the line, I just gave up and being disappointed I simply gave up on Skype altogether – thankfully it has fallen out of favor at work too.
Skype has been a monumental fuck up and just thinking about it on a thread about GitHub being acquired makes me sad.
Did your bet stipulate a time frame? I think the odds of this go up considerably after a honeymoon period of 2-4 years.
(Although, IIRC except for WhatsApp most of these didn't make many promises.)
Also it wasn't the Microsoft Account change as much as the they had the weird MS Store or Local account sign in options. I removed the Store sign in and only used local and had no issues. Am I missing something?
Microsoft 15 minutes ago isn't the Microsoft of today is just as true a statement and one just as vacuous.
P.S. I thought the whole anti-OpenSUSE movement was also plain old stupid.
- Putting adverts directly into their OS (which people pay for by the way)
- Forcing their shitty updates, (and restarts) at the most inconvenient times
- making it impossible to permanently and easily turn off telemetry
Wow, you have low standards. I bet if you ate dog shit, you'd say it's not so bad.
> Forcing their shitty updates, (and restarts) at the most inconvenient times
Weird I have a pop up that says there is an update coming and when do I want to schedule it....
>Putting adverts directly into their OS (which people pay for by the way)
Didn't care for it and I hit the disable on 3 switches
> making it impossible to permanently and easily turn off telemetry
They did push out an update over a year ago that makes it so you don't have to use the tools that were out since 2015. Telemetry was specific for Inside program and beta but I certainly see why people were freaking out. I looked at what was being collected and it seemed fine for me.
What about them mucking up the Spectre/Meltdown patches which bricked a bunch of PCs? In my case I wasn't bricked but I had to rollback a patch.
What about re-enabling of disabled services (e.g. Firewall, Defender) after some updates?
Going back a couple years ago, what about downloading/pre-loading Windows 10 on Windows 7/8 computers, without the user asking first? Can we forgive them for that? It used up several GB of space and burned sometimes expensive bandwidth? Happened to my laptop while I was traveling, I only noticed after I started getting low disk space warnings.
If I had a real list of the all the actual problems I've ever encountered with Windows, Windows 10 is definitely approaching Windows ME levels of incompetence.
Maybe some of us are just having more issues because we have unique hardware configurations which don't play well with Microsoft's newest foray into OS experimentation. Or perhaps our expectations are too high?
I don't agree that their present is good.
I'm actually really excited about MS+GitHub, but have to agree the account situation sucks.
In the process it seems they managed to seriously undermine their new, really really nice social network by using the same name for that and now me and a few others have a nice social network all to ourselves :-\
Now you put it like this, I realize I suffer from this too. The UX of having accounts in the Microsoft ecosystem sucks severely.
In fact, I think there's a strong 'once a criminal, always a criminal' mentality that takes a healthy skepticism to an unreasonable level. At least with the benefit of the doubt you can be wary of what Microsoft's intentions really are, but I don't think it's productive to go 20 years into the past and pretend that absolutely nothing has changed since, and rehashing everything from that time as if it only happened yesterday. It's an unreasonable standard and if nothing else, it presents the self-fulfilling prophecy where you're only satisfied once you've found proof that Microsoft today hasn't changed at all. So you've practically doomed GitHub to fail post-acquisition because you've already decided it _will_.
I'm not sure why you'd want that. So on that level I hope that Microsoft doesn't betray the gigantic community that has built around GitHub, which itself has taken open source to a whole new level. It's an appeal to emotion, I know, but I just don't see the value in being straight up negative in the light of recent evidence that suggests the contrary. You would never hold yourself to such an unforgiving standard (unless you wanted to sacrifice yourself on the altar), so it's better to give it a chance instead of throwing out the baby with the bathwater.
(Secretly, I'd love it if they, for example, rethought the pricing strategy and offered free private repos the same as every competitor does.)
That said, it's a little worrying that tech is continuing to consolidate around the giants.
That's a good general point; if you find you dislike someone's POV or behavior, and you're not simply being tribalistic, you should be thinking along the lines of, "what do I want this person / group to do differently?"
If you can't, you're part of the reason why things won't improve. You want your negativity (or your ego) to be proven right.
They clearly have greater ambitions than increasing Visual Studio sales. For example, what about forced integration of LinkedIn with personal Github repositories?
So in all that, you're waiting on the extinguish step where WinGit comes out and blows away Git, Github, GitLab, BitBucket, etc. etc. etc. because you cannot possibly maintain a modern git repo unless you're running it on Windows. Only MS are building Linux based cloud infrastructure so it's not even loyalty to their past anymore.
Never mind the fact that 'extinguish' blew up in MS' face and their attempts to monopolise the internet ensured they never would. Firefox and Chrome are direct products of that particular power grab, so is the shitty reputation MS has, so is the existence of Edge to get away from the Internet Explorer branding. Why even bother trying all of that again?
What software hosting platform is not also itself a software company? Atlassian, Gitlab...?
Doesn't add up to me.
They're still in business. Numbers look good. They also have advertising and telemetry on paid stuff that people would usually assume doesn't sell them out like free, ad-driven services. Windows, Office, and Xbox are valuable enough that customers will tolerate quite a lot before leaving.
It doesn't matter.
The "what if?" is enough to cause a chilling effect. This will be the effective death of GitHub. I'm certain projects that are all-in on the platform will stick around out of momentum. But yesterday was the last day anyone would ever consider starting a new major project on GitHub.
The worst case scenario with Github closing the door, assuming no heads up, is that you'd lose your issues and PR. You have your git history on a bunch of machines (your devs + you should really have a dedicated backup).
The worst case scenario with Microsoft having visibility of your "closed" source code is that they take a peek at it and implement a better faster more integrated version of them in their own product competing with you, or heck even copy/paste your code. What can you do about it? How could you prove it? Remember, they can afford orders of magnitude more number of lawyer hours than you.
Github was losing money, but that's pretty typical for SaaS businesses. I have no reason to think they couldn't have gotten to break-even. And if the can't get to break even, I have no reason to think Microsoft will subsidize them indefinitely.
I use Bit Bucket because I knew they were making money and were solvent and I knew GitHub was just waiting for a big pay day. BOY was I wrong with the timing and the amount.
> And if the can't get to break even, I have no reason to think Microsoft will subsidize them indefinitely.
This fits perfectly with their developer system with Virtual Studio, VS Code and Azure. I can't see how this isn't a great buy for them and their ecco-system.
All it takes is one rogue employee, and it could have devastating irreversible effects on a small startup.
Of course, Microsoft was famous for their dirty pool tactics in the past, so it's not irrational to worry that they'd return to them. E.g.: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_litigation#Private
I would argue that the case here is quite the opposite.
Github is loved for a variety of reasons, small & large decisions that are influenced by how profit-oriented the company is. And how willing they are to annoy their users to squeeze some more "profit" and/or data out of them.
In the real world, people trust companies and context contracts with companyies to protect them. Eg all the people using clouds like azure.
What I haven't seen is a moralistic rejection. Microsoft tried to kill Windows gaming, they tried to kill Linux, they tried to kill Firefox, and countless other things. Their operating system design is nearly abusive and even their open source development (tracking, licensing) has been lined with traps. I want nothing more than for them to disappear, and if them buying a $7B company which ends up with 0 users is one step on that path then I absolutely support it.
It has nothing to do with whether they promise they won't do bad things _this_ time, or whether they claim they'll be independent (they're clearly not independent - Microsoft now owns Github).
Treating large companies as Manichean monolithic entities is unhealthy. Microsoft like every large company has bright spots and dim spots, good leaders and bad leaders, good ideas and bad ones. They're complex and so your relationship with them should be, too.
As an argument, this comment is terribly myopic and naive. As a mirror it's fascinating.
Huh? If you mean "gaming on Windows", I can't imagine how that could possibly be true, and if they tried, either nobody got the memo or they did a really bad job at trying. PC gaming has always been defacto Windows gaming. If you mean "Windows Games", that's still a thing, they're just integrating closer with their XBox platform, which makes perfect sense given that XBox is integrating closer with Windows 10 from the other side.
> they tried to kill Firefox
So did Google (they're still trying). So did Apple. Are you holding grudges against either of them?
> Their operating system design is nearly abusive
Heavily subjective. Windows has had its regressive moments, but overall it's consistently been more usable than anything on the market. 95 was a joy, 98 was a joy, XP was a joy, Vista was bad, 7 was a joy, 8 was bad, 10 is amazing. Compare that to MacOS* which only started competing with OSX and peaked at 10.5 (Leopard) and has been basically going slowly downhill since, with regressive behaviors, hostility to anyone that doesn't want to live in their walled garden, hostility to legacy software (many Windows XP programs still run perfectly with explicit compatibility settings, meanwhile OSX barely supports apps that are built for 3 major releases back-- that's only 3 years of support) and deprecation/removal of core OS APIs with zero intention to replace them. You want abusive? Try developing on a platform that competes against its own developer community and keeps APIs private for competitive advantage. Try developing on a platform that strong-arms you into paying yearly fees just so you can deploy applications that work out of the box on client machines. Comparatively, Apple has been much more hostile to developer communities than Microsoft ever has.
> I want nothing more than for them to disappear
Clear indication of an unhealthy long-kept grudge. Even if Microsoft has done all the things you claim, you don't really have a moral high ground if you're sitting there rooting for their failure. You can feel free to not use their products, but to want them and all of their customers to fail because you don't like what they've done in the past isn't really a "moralistic" viewpoint, it's just brooding.
...and you're going to have to move past the brooding if you want to make it to Acceptance.
>Windows has had its regressive moments, but overall it's consistently been more usable than anything on the market. 95 was a joy, 98 was a joy, XP was a joy, Vista was bad, 7 was a joy, 8 was bad, 10 is amazing. Compare that to MacOS* which only started competing with OSX and peaked at 10.5 (Leopard) and has been basically going slowly downhill since, with regressive behaviors,
What you said about Windows is also true about macOS. There have been some regressive behaviours in the recent past but overall macOS is no more inconsistent than Windows 10. You might quickly point out about "plain text passwords" in macOS but if you look at the macro scale, Apple screws up not much more than Google or Microsoft or Amazon etc. Amazon has fat fingered systems shutting down half of the internet. Microsoft has managed to create updated which wipe out users data or fail spectacularly on certain popular SSDs. If you want to really roast companies on "regression in software", the whole of silicon valley will fall like a house of cards.
>hostility to anyone that doesn't want to live in their walled garden,
Not true. macOS is very permissive otherwise things like Little Snitch, Alfred won't exist. You cannot compare with iOS because Microsoft no longer has a competing product.
>hostility to legacy software (many Windows XP programs still run perfectly with explicit compatibility settings,
Different design philosophy doesn't mean it's wrong or hostile. By that same metric, Linux can't be arsed to give a stable ABI. Windows gives a damn about legacy, Apple doesn't and Linux is some whole another shit. And why is this really a problem in macOS? Most of the devs upgrade software to run on latest OS and really don't have problems.
>meanwhile OSX barely supports apps that are built for 3 major releases back-- that's only 3 years of support)
Exaggeration. A lot of stuff from Snow Leopard days still work on High Sierra. Most apps still have support from the time of Mavericks. 5-8 years is a long time in technology and is a very reasonable balance between future of software and past compatibility. And honestly where does the line end? If you want legacy, why don't you ask Microsoft to support software from the 80s out of the box?
>deprecation/removal of core OS APIs with zero intention to replace them
Examples? Only profound one, which directly impacts user that I can think of, is the changes in PDF handling in preview.
>Try developing on a platform that competes against its own developer community and keeps APIs private for competitive advantage
Every company does? Google, Amazon, Microsoft? Google and Microsoft have their own set of productivity apps for platforms just like Apple? They are also closed source, have private APIs which only they have access to.
>Try developing on a platform that strong-arms you into paying yearly fees just so you can deploy applications that work out of the box on client machines.
Not on macOS. Again, iOS is not the point of comparison. Compared to Windows, macOS is no more restrictive. Tons of developers sell mac software using fastspring and deploy updates using Sparkle framework - thus completely bypassing the mac app store.
>Comparatively, Apple has been much more hostile to developer communities than Microsoft ever has.
I don't think so. Apple may not be very proactive compared to Microsoft and Google AND it may not be as permissive as the former but calling them as "hostile" is too strong of a word.
IRONICALLY, you are railing against Apple on pretty much the same logic as GP was railing against Microsoft.
 It's only for public projects with a license that doesn't prohibit Google from mirroring it, and only for projects Google depends on.
Or do the opposite. If Microsoft decides to make private repos on GitHub free, I can see VERY big issues for other players. I suspect more people use GitHub alternatives for cost reasons, rather than ideological ones.
When Microsoft shutdown their competing product to GitHub, I think they had like 200 active users. Compare that to GitHub, which had millions of active users. Maybe this is the same with private repos. That is, the number of paying GitHub customers is an order of a magnitude more than free VSTS customers.
I really think Microsoft wants what Amazon has and if they can funnel GitHub users to their cloud service, this acquisition will become a no brainer. Plus, the data that GitHub is able to gather from issue conversations, code reviews, etc. may well prove critical for ML/AI research, that can help Microsoft develop intelligent software tools.
All of that is free for up to five users and it’s all private.
This is a willful misunderstanding of the word decentralised.
How many "new Microsoft" have we seen already?
"Will they follow through on these commitments? Will they continue to listen to the community?"
No and no. Microsoft is not in the business of making good software, it is a PR firm, an awesome marketing department with tons of experience in shady practices, and the bare minimum dev team to make Windows somewhat competitive.
Microsoft is a big company with a big NIH syndrome. Github is antinomic with their culture.
To me Microsoft under Nadella have changed substantially. they're more open and more collaborative. Sure they want to make money, but that's a given for a corporation.
As to NIH, well I was at KubeConEU and the Microsoft engineers on the Microsoft stand were running Macbooks, and the Microsoft Keynote speaker was running an Ubuntu desktop, so it maybe isn't quite as cast-iron as it used to be.
What is baffling for me, is how worried some people seem to be. If you understand the Git hosting space, you would know Microsoft tried to compete with GitHub and failed miserably.
It is quite clear the value that GitHub provides is data and there is ABSOLUTELY no way Microsoft would want to disturb this. In fact, Bitbucket, GitLab and others should be concerned that Microsoft might treat GitHub as a loss leader and provide private repos for free.
Perhaps they've improved since I left, but the number of dev-hours I saw being squandered on a daily basis just fighting with utterly stupid limitations which only existed inside DevDiv's idiosyncratic tooling would have funded a good hundred startups full-time if they could have been put to some practical use.
Just to tack on a convenient anecdote...apparently the original ASP.NET MVC code was written by Guthrie....on a flight, this is the earliest evidence I can find of this:
I also forgot to include Phil Haack who back then was also part of that gang that began steering the DevDiv ship to brighter shores.
People should get to know who Corporate VP + Chief IP Counsel [Erich Andersen] is. GitHub will be under his watch and all these years he has done nothing but wonders for the developers and the brand. "During this time when customers are rapidly adopting #AI solutions across industries to solve important problems, Microsoft is helping to protect those investments by offering #AI patents as part of #AzureIPAdvantage" 
#AI #AzureIPAdvantage! Isn't it wonderful that Microsoft is protecting developers from the patent troll ecosystem? From the likes of Intellectual Ventures and Conversant/MOSAID, Myhrvold and Gates? Why look at what Microsoft has done over decades past? We should look at what Microsoft is doing now. People should get to know just how reformed-from-evil Microsoft is.
This is Microsoft. I cannot understand why people trust this company. Actually trust their PR messages. It's amazing.
Is just making GitHub better worth $7.5 billion dollars for Microsoft? It will stay independent for this pile of cash? Why they bought it? For prestige?
For me the answer is that it can't be independent for long as it was (with VCs on its back was it ever?). It will gain Live login, maybe they will integrate it so you could login with your GitHub credentials to your computer if you so desire. But that's hardly worth billions.
Maybe the better thing would be what others suggested - setup a non-profit that would run GitHub and all those big companies could put something in the jar. Certainly less than what was paid. But I know it can't work, VCs want their exit.
For me it's a same game for GitLab. Current situation probably will accelerate GitLab's burn rate so prepare for the next acquisition.
I'm posting them here for easy ref -
1. "Second, we will accelerate enterprise developers’ use of GitHub, with our direct sales and partner channels and access to Microsoft’s global cloud infrastructure and services. "
Above means - More revenue for MS.
2. "Finally, we will bring Microsoft’s developer tools and services to new audiences."
This also means - more revenue for MS
More answers here - https://view.officeapps.live.com/op/view.aspx?src=https://c....
Briefing above ppt here - MS will report Github revenues as some part of Azure. They are looking for growth and diversification of income sources. Linkedin and this acquisition are steps in that direction.
I don't think you can call it inside of MS while you are also highlighting their strength of sales channels. It would be described better that way if MS kept it solely for internal purposes
So integrating tools and services means dependence.
Disclaimer: I don't have a strong reaction against this acquisition. I always felt that one day I will migrate somewhere, but I'm not in a hurry.
Think of a large, non-tech company (i.e. development is a "resource" and not a first class citizen) that already has an Enterprise license for Office 365, which handles their emails, Office apps, and Active Directory for authentication. Microsoft could sell Github Enterprise as a one-click install that spins it up on Azure and hooks into the existing O365 AD for user management. No long procurement process, vendor has already been vetted (Microsoft), same privacy/compliance validation as your O365-hosted Exchange server, etc. Devs in these environments just went from an uphill battle to get Github approved for hosting repos to Github becoming the preferred solution.
And the inverse is true. Microsoft makes some incredibly good development tools. Traditionally, they've been limited to a Windows only model. But they've been making a lot of strides in making their traditionally Windows-only stuff cross-compatible. And Github is a really good channel/brand to try to get that software in front of users that may not have otherwise ever even looked at that Microsoft tooling.
5) Will they merge multiple accounts into one account, even though the user wants them separate, similar to how that was done with Skype and other services?
Which "the user" is this? The same user that uses GitHub's OAuth as single-sign-on credentials for other partnering sites like TravisCI, etc? If I was in the MS ecosystem and already had an identity that I could re-use (and didn't already have a GH account), I'd probably use that, just like those who login to various websites with their Google, Facebook, Amazon, or even Twitter SSO identities. I don't see how expanding SSO to Microsoft accounts would hurt anyone.
Also, there may be different pay structures and packages used to pay for the services for each of those accounts. Hopefully, you can see how merging these can create far more work for the user, even when there are many cases that have negative benefit.
Well, it's not like the skeptics' skepticism is not unfounded. Microsoft has a long, bloody history when it comes to open source software and this "don't worry about the past, trust us, we'll be different this time" position by Microsoft isn't enough to convince us.
I could be convinced, but it will take a LOT of time and good behavior by microsoft. Action speak louder than words. There has been nothing but words up to this point.
I get your point, but come on, there have been a lot of 'actions' over the last couple of years. This only detracts from your argument. We've had .NET Core, visual studio code, the improvements on Git, WSL and more.
Edit: clarify my point.
Of course they are! Everything a corporation does is to further its own interests. Most (large) companies don't contribute to open source out of the goodness of their hearts.
This is a common misconception. It's a close cousin of the "increase shareholder value" school of thought, which has widely (and correctly) been called "the world's dumbest idea": https://www.google.com/search?q=the+world's+dumbest+idea
We exist in a complex society. It is everybody's job to maintain that society. We do that through things like voting and paying taxes. But also through making the world better directly. Companies that only do things they perceive to be in their immediate pecuniary interest are essentially parasitic. And, at least sometimes, are rightly shunned for their self-centered behavior.
If Microsoft is trying to grow up and be a good corporate citizen, I applaud them. But if they are, as you say, only putting on a mask of neighborliness because that's their plan of the moment to fill their pockets, then there's no reason to welcome or trust them.
The idea of trusting an entity that is designed to try to take your money seems silly and futile to me.
Companies don't act on their own or have beliefs. Only the people that make them up do. The company does need to turn enough profit to sustain itself, but beyond that, it's in large part up to the people who make it up. One of the thorniest problems in investing, for example, is the principle-agent problem, where people act in their own interests.
In America, that's mainly thought about as CEOs and executives serving themselves, not investors. But that's a cultural thing. In Gemany, companies are much more focused on all sorts of stakeholders. That's also often true in America with small and medium businesses, especially ones that are family owned.
Companies are hopefully designed to do whatever the stakeholders want them to do. Sometimes that's serving somebody's rapacious greed. Sometimes it isn't.
Microsoft has had a vested interest in Git and Open-Source for a while now.
If you need further proof, observe that Oracle is on the list. There's not a company on Earth more hostile to FLOSS than Oracle. And yet there they are, and a "platinum" member at that. Lol.
I had a similar deep hatred for MS.
In the 00s I spent time as a video game developer and I was forced to use MS tools. And honestly, their developer tools were pretty good. Although I still didn't trust them, I respected them (or at least certain divisions within MS).
In the 10s, I've been mostly doing web stuff. Over the last couple of years I've started using VS Code, and it's actually a great editor and MS seems committed to it and to contributing to some other open source projects.
MS does not strike me as anywhere near the same company they were in the 90s as Gates transitioned out and Ballmer took over. Nadella seems to have a vision for MS that's much more in line with what developers actually want. (The irony of Ballmer's "DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS!" is palpable.)
I wouldn't consider myself an MS fan, but I also don't view them as the devil they were then. I'm not totally sure what this means for github yet, but I am willing to wait and see before I grab my pitchfork.
Well guess what? They just bought exactly that.
I think it's reasonable to say that people understood that there were tradeoffs in hosting code on a site like github.
Since it had become a popular site, the gains from the network effect outweighed the more theoretical risks, at least for the short term...
Choose more carefully next time? Maybe firefox instead of chrome? etc.
I wouldnt say 'likely' this is M$ we are talking about.
And I used to be a Microsoft fanboy.
We will see what Nat Friedman does but Miguel de Icaza did have a bit of a falling out with the gnome community and started Xamarin where the developed a closed source IDE that didn't run on Linux. So a bit of a 180 he did there.
I preferred Github to be an independent thing, and I wonder if the world's changed to where you can't have independent things, you can only choose your master, and you can't actually choose that either. If it's that, could be worse.
Nat is a great PR guy, no doubt about that. You may have no issue with his previous behaviour at Gnome when founding Ximian with respect to open source commitments etc. - but you should know about it and decide for yourself.
It's all there in public, easy to track down if you want to.
I /really/ don't want to summarise it because without a complete understanding of it I will be unfair to someone. It was big and controversial and resulted in serious schisms in the Gnome dev community. Nat and Miguel's company Ximian was bought by Novell who had a software patent deal with microsoft. There was a lot of trepidation over mono because of microsoft's software patents. Miguel de Icaza founded gnome and had those halos. Ximian employed many prominent gnome developers. My understanding is that mono is now not a dependency of Gnome and there was a reasonable amount of rancour about it.
If I post links I'm tacitly endorsing their analysis - which I don't want to do.
With the knowledge that Nat and Miguel essentially spoke as one from being joint founders of Ximian and there wasn't any dissent from other Ximian/Novell employees, useful search strings might something like:
"gnome mono controversy"
"gnome mono patents"
"redhat gnome mono"
I'd also suggest looking for prominent gnome developers from those days and see what they wrote about it in blogs and mailing lists and so on. I think it's entirely reasonable to check someone's reputation, especially when they advance it. The fact that you can and it might well check out as honest, solid, trustworthy and that they are a person of integrity is really, positive. Please note how careful I am being to refrain from besmirching anyone's reputation here.
On that basis alone, not sure how anyone can cheer this acquisition
Linkedin? It maybe ok now, but to see who in the network clicks on you and more recruiters... at a prime membership of $30/mo? With the same opptys as Indeed? And with more spam and solicitations? Aside from Linkedin being on the edge of being another FB+Tinder.... Well, I think we see where it's going by year end of 2019. Wouldn't be surprised if it gets engineered into irrelevance too.
As for these new managers like Friedman: they'll will hold the FOSS torch for a year, get frustrated by internal politics and leave likely.
MS will likely listen to the community, but it's to exploit them into MS products, mainly Azure. And of course the community will be smaller than today. No way MS would abandon MSVS/TS--much like Oracle: too much invested and a good size community.
Its time to get everything off Github right away.
2) They can express whatever they like but keeping their word is optional.
3) How do you know? Have you met him?
It will be interesting to see which companies strategically move out of github after this acquisition.
Microsoft, the boogeyman, coming to delete your repos.
It is sad that Hacker News, once a community for hungry entrepreneurs has digressed into a hipster, anti-corporate, anti-capitalism community.
>3) Nat Friedman, although I was not familiar with him prior to this, seems like an ideal candidate to run GitHub.
Nat seems like a decent candidate for GitHub CEO, but i'm having trouble reconciling Microsoft's commitment to keeping GitHub an independent platform with their installing a new CEO. that's not really how "independent" works.
The fact that he is now a technical fellow, it seems to me that this is the ideal outcome for all the parties involved.
If Microsoft weren't acquiring GitHub, would they still pick Nat to be their new CEO?
"Microsoft made a good decision when they appointed a new CEO for GitHub" and "microsoft is keeping GitHub independent" are not compatible statements.
The first being that it's a better indicator of independence to have no CEO than a Microsoft appointed CEO. The number of good CEOs that have experience running companies with hundred-million valuations is very low, as GitHub themselves experienced for months. Without a good CEO, chances are GitHub goes under (somebody needs to push the Azure integration, etc.), so Microsoft didn't really have a choice.
The second assumption is that Nat will necessarily run GitHub from a Microsoft-first perspective, as opposed to a GitHub-first perspective. This may be true, and it may not. I believe this is what they were referring to with regards to "independence".
Please clarify if you're not making either of those assumptions, and if you are, I'm happy to discuss your justifications. :)
Edit: Perhaps you just have a feeling, given Microsoft's history, that they will sink the boat, and you're trying to justify it through anything that you can find that is concrete. Personally I don't believe that GitHub will stay a completely neutral shrine of perfection, and my only justification is my feelings based on history. So if that is the case, I completely agree. The idea of appointing a CEO where there is none being non-independent, though, is clutching straws IMO.