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I predict Microsoft will acquire SO in the next 5 years.

It would be interesting to see it integrate with GitHub. Not sure if that's a good thing, but it would definitely be interesting.

And VS Code time and time again showing suggestions from SO Answers and Github - Coding made easy for any!

If VSCode would grep my stack-traces for exceptions it could find in StackOverflow automatically, I would be so there for that.

And after people provide them with enough suggestions-samples-picks, they will train AI to do the coding for you.

Then we'll just need some sort of a language to explain to the model what we want the software to do....

"Cortana, make the bike shed pink instead ..." ;)

Stacksort, the least known sorting algorithm: https://m.xkcd.com/1185/

(See the image alt text)

Someone actually implemented that, I believe there was a Show HN a few months back.

Edit - there it is: http://gkoberger.github.io/stacksort/

* the horror

I am always linking and quoting between the two. Quoting source code and automatic back links would be awesome.

MS could offer a scanner that could flag your private code in Github from showing verbatim in SO.

Stack Overflow was built because the forums and mailing lists were inadequate and no one else was addressing the need for something more. Historically speaking, SO is the third iteration of a commons for knowledge share. It had a great run. However, the time is coming for a new wave. Among the next wave will be Microsoft, who is well positioned with its portfolio of products and companies. I predict that Microsoft will introduce a collaboration and knowledge management platform that will compete with Stack Overflow. GitHub will play a significant role as will Microsoft AI products.

StackOverflow was built as a free alternative to Experts Exchange.

Good old expertsexchange.com, the worst unintentional domain name "oops" since budget.co.ck (Budget Rentals in the Cook Islands).

I always hated EE. They were an early adopter of dark UI patterns, and it obviously made them vulnerable to less user-hostile competition like SO.

Agreed. There is certainly an overlap between SO jobs and Linkedin, and then also the SO teams product and existing MS knowledge bases. Not to mention MS already has "Microsoft Teams", so that might be confusing.

Microsoft doesn't care about confusing overlap in its product offerings at all.

You mean like the over lap between what is now Azure Devops and Github? They both offer free git hosting but former offers private free repos, hosted builds, and deployments.

I can't believe they haven't already. Is there any bigger .NET app running in the world today?

I'm not sure that the technology running in the backend is really relevant here. If anything having "objective" third parties using your technology seems like a better selling argument for .Net than having it in-house.

They would lose a paying customer ;)

Looking at Microsoft's strategy I doubt they would care whether it runs on .Net or something else. They would look into integrating with Azure (lots of Linux) and GitHub (R-o-R) as well as SO Jobs with LinkedIn (Java(?))

Well, that customer is paying those licenses from their own income. By acquiring $customer you can get all of their revenue and not just the part they currently spend on licenses.

True and I wasn't fully serious. But: Having SO as an external showcase has benefits for attracting other customers over "we use it on our site" A testimony from an internal customer is less valuable as I see more company politics over technical reasoning.

It depends how you measure. But my company runs .NET at a much bigger scale (in terms of http requests and infrastructure footprint) than SO and I doubt that we are the only ones.

Makes a lot of sense given developer-centric strategy.

or maybe someone would create an SO alternative as a distributed service where you share and sync Q&A of all the topics relevant to you. Imagine all the answers you looking for are available offline!

SO will still be there but maybe it will start the journey of it's eventual slow death.

It could be a really good thing. Until it's not.

SO is a social media site. So I think it makes more sense for a company like LinkedIn, Facebook or Condé Nast.

LinkedIn is making bank with its subscription tiers. So they’d do a good job, financially speaking, of doing the same thing with SO. Large companies and recruitment services will be able to buy premium subscriptions to see who is doing what on the platform. Professionals will pay $50/month to have better access and limit access to non-paying members.

EDIT: Oops. Now I know that Microsoft owns LinkedIn.

(In case you weren't aware, Microsoft owns LinkedIn.)

LinkedIn is owned by Microsoft.

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