The acquisition provides a way forward for San Francisco-based GitHub, which has been trying for nine months to find a new CEO and has yet to make a profit from its popular service that allows coders to share and collaborate on their work.
With over 27 million users and 80 million repositories of code, GitHub is the largest host of source code in the world. Assuming this light-touch approach to GitHub remains intact moving forward, this could be a big win for developers who use the site thanks to Microsoft's seemingly unending resources.
"Most importantly, we recognize the responsibility we take on with this agreement", Nadella wrote. Despite the company's money woes and lack of CEO, Github holds a privileged position in the development world.
The news of the takeover comes at a time when GitHub is reportedly find a replacement for CEO and founder Chris Wanstrath, who announced his resignation previous year.More news: 'I wish I did' pick a different Attorney General than Session
The software giant expects to complete the transaction by the end of the year.
Discussions between Microsoft and GitHub has been going on since 2016, but GitHub had shot down those early reports. It's worth noting that Microsoft does use GitHub, just like Google and other tech companies. There is at least some expectation that Microsoft will incentivize developers to support Microsoft's Azure cloud platform, but in the Monday release, the company behind Windows and Xbox tried to assure developers that GitHub will remain as open and free as ever.
"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", Wanstrath said.
GitHub is a "great buy" for Microsoft, analyst Jack Gold of J. Gold Associates said in a report. Microsoft corporate vice president Nat Friedman is to assume the role of Github chief executive, as its current boss Chris Wanstrath becomes a Microsoft technical fellow and works on strategic software initiatives for the new parent firm.