Chris Wanstrath, Github CEO and co-founder talks about Microsoft’s acquisition


As expected, Microsoft today announced that it is acquiring GitHub for about $7.5 billion. Microsoft highlighted that GitHub will operate independently and will continue to provide an open platform for all developers in all industries by supporting programming languages, tools and operating systems of their choice for their projects. Microsoft Corporate Vice President Nat Friedman will become the new CEO of GitHub while GitHub’s current CEO, Chris Wanstrath, will become a Microsoft technical fellow. You can read Chris Wanstrath’s blog post on this acquisition below,

I am very excited to announce that Microsoft is acquiring GitHub and expect the agreement to close by the end of the year. While it will still take a few months to finalize, we wanted to share the news as soon as we were able.

When GitHub first launched ten years ago, I could have never imagined this headline. Git was a powerful but niche tool, clouds were just things in the sky, and Microsoft was a very different company. Open source and business, people said at the time, mixed as well as oil and water.

We disagreed. As developers, we knew this was a false dichotomy—we had been using open source software successfully in a business setting for a long time. What we really needed was an easier way to work with others regardless of whether the code was public, private, or something in-between. We wanted to do it using Git, we wanted anyone in the world to be able to join in, and we didn’t want it to cost a dime if it was open source. So we created GitHub.

Now, of course, things are different. Git is far and away the most popular version control system, clouds are mostly computers, and Microsoft is the most active organization on GitHub in the world. Their VS Code project alone is beloved by millions of developers, entirely open source, and built using GitHub’s Electron platform. Beyond that, today major enterprises regularly embrace open source. The world has realized how important happy, productive developers really are. And also, people have smartphones now.

What hasn’t changed, however, is our focus on the developer. From the beginning, we have been obsessed with building a product for the people using it. We want to make developers more productive and we want more people to become developers. From “Code to Cloud and Code to Edge”, GitHub’s mission is to help every developer—regardless of experience level—learn, code, and ship software effectively.

So as we look to the next decade of software development and beyond, we know it’s all about the developer. And as we’ve gotten to know the team at Microsoft over the past few years through collaborating on projects from Git LFS to Electron, we’ve learned that they agree. Their work on open source has inspired us, the success of the Minecraft and LinkedIn acquisitions has shown us they are serious about growing new businesses well, and the growth of Azure has proven they are an innovative development platform.

But more than that, their vision for the future closely matches our own. We both believe GitHub needs to remain an open platform for all developers. No matter your language, stack, platform, cloud, or license, GitHub will continue to be your home—the best place for software creation, collaboration, and discovery.

We both believe that software development needs to become easier, more accessible, more intelligent, and more open, so more people can become developers and existing developers can spend more time focusing on the unique problems they’re trying to solve.

We both see the growing need for developers and the growing importance of software in all facets of our lives.

And, most importantly, we both believe we can do greater things together than alone. Collaboration, after all, is at the heart of everything we do.

As part of this change, Nat Friedman will be taking on the role of GitHub’s CEO. We have been searching for a new CEO for some time and found in both Microsoft and Nat a partner we believe will strengthen and grow the GitHub community and company over the next few years. Nat has a ton of experience with software and the open source software community, having co-founded Xamarin and worked on numerous open source projects over the years, and is the perfect person to help GitHub grow and continue to make life better for developers.

As for me, I’ll be taking on a new role at Microsoft working closely with Nat and the team, and will share more details on that in the future.

I’m extremely proud of what GitHub and our community have accomplished over the past decade, and I can’t wait to see what lies ahead. The future of software development is bright and I’m thrilled to be joining forces with Microsoft to help make it a reality.

Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella, incoming GitHub CEO Natt Friedman, Chris Wanstrath and Microsoft Chief Financial Officer Amy Hood hosted a joint conference call for media today. You can listen to the call here. Check out the call deck below.

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