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.