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Microsoft Is Talking About Acquiring GitHub, Says Report (zdnet.com) 164

The Welcome Rain shares a report from ZDNet: Microsoft officials have been talking to GitHub about possibly acquiring the company, according to a June 1 report in Business Insider. BI claims that the two have discussed the possibility of an acquisition on an on-and-off-again basis over the years "but in the last few weeks talks have grown more serious." BI is citing unnamed "people close to the companies" as its sources. "This isn't as surprising as it would have been ten or more years ago," writes The Welcome Rain. "Microsoft is investing a lot in git, including GVFS, a Git Virtual File System to help Git work with very large codebases. What might this mean for the future of Github?"
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Microsoft Is Talking About Acquiring GitHub, Says Report

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  • Zombie (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gigne ( 990887 ) on Friday June 01, 2018 @06:04PM (#56712542) Homepage Journal

    A few years ago I would have said it is the end of GitHub. Now it is most likely to be turned into a zombie

    • Re:Zombie (Score:5, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 01, 2018 @06:07PM (#56712566)

      No, no, it wont be that bad, it will just auto update all repos, insert ad's into every code and break on every 2nd tuesday in a month...

      • Re:Zombie (Score:4, Informative)

        by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) <mojo@wo[ ]3.net ['rld' in gap]> on Friday June 01, 2018 @06:30PM (#56712676) Homepage Journal

        We use their paid version at work. It's okay... But lacks some basic features, like a way to organize your 300+ repos in some sensible way.

        Honestly if Microsoft spur some development of the site it would be welcome. The industry seems to have stagnated a bit - all the rivals like GitLab and Bitbucket are pretty much clones of GitHub and while they have some interesting features there isn't really anything radically different.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      Well, it's better than being acquired by Oracle. At least Microsoft lets things die a slow death and eventually pulls the plug, pushing people to a new product,instead of pretending to support a product while refusing to update it, meanwhile pulling a few key features from it to further bloat their database offerings.

    • A few years ago I would have said it is the end of GitHub. Now it is most likely to be turned into a zombie

      That seems reasonable...
      If GitHub lets this happen they should already be out seeking BRAINS ...

    • R.I.P. Github.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    It means it's time to migrate your projects and close your Github account.

    • At the very least I think it is safe to say this would be good news for gitlab!

      • Agreed, created an account there just to camp on my username. I'm not migrating from GitHub *yet*, but I will jump at the first mention of "migrating to windows".
        • by WallyL ( 4154209 )

          Agreed, created an account there just to camp on my username. I'm not migrating from GitHub *yet*, but I will jump at the first mention of "migrating to windows".

          Good idea. I just did the same (different from my /. username).

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Bill Gates wants to Merge Github into the master branch.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    For those of us that work on VSTS based systems and like everything all together, this is actually bad news.

    I LIKE the calmness of VSTS over GitHub. (Sure, for social / open development, GitHub is great. For private, within the organisation? VSTS is just plain calmer.) Problem is, there will be this push to use private GitHub for things that are just easier in VSTS. And, often, what is technologically the best isn't really what matters, it's what people are paying attention to.

  • Microsoft is a master in killing off good services and scaring away users by bad product management.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 01, 2018 @07:05PM (#56712808)

      QuarterDeck, OS/2, Xenix.

      But Google kills off just as much. Remember the much-loved Google-Reader? Wave? Google-Talk?

      I was a paying skype customer before MSFT.
      I was a paying Nokia Maemo customer, before MSFT.
      I was an early adopter for LinkedIn.

      Cancelled my accounts in each, when Microsoft broke each of them.

      • by Rob Y. ( 110975 )

        All of your examples of Google killing off stuff were Google-developed stuff, that presumably was killed off because it either failed - or Google developed something else that suited their purposes better (if not, admittedly, always the users').

        The Microsoft examples discussed here were all acquisitions of popular services that, presumably, were bought by Microsoft to keep them from developing into a threat - or, I guess, to compete with Google or Amazon in cases where they had something similar. One case

      • This. Unless MS wants to drive users away...
    • LinkedIn was shit before Microsoft bought it.

      • by rnturn ( 11092 )
        That may be but at least before Microsoft bought LinkedIn they weren't going out of their way to be a Facebook clone. For me that became obvious that that was the direction MS wanted to go when they made the default LI feed ordering to be the "Top" (i.e., most "Liked") posts---you can change that to "Recent" but you can't make the change your personal default. As for it's job leads... that's rather gone downhill as well. I actually still get the occasional call from someone who's seen my LI profile. I still
    • by Locutus ( 9039 )
      You forgot how much better they made the Danger phone/OS.

      LoB
  • ... if this should ever happen. And exactly because I never wanted to have relevant data fall into the hands of an evil corporation like M$, I did not use anything besides pure public git hosting at github - a function that can easily be transferred elsewhere, as the data in the git repository itself is the only content.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Came here to read exactly that type comment from slashdotters. Was not disappointed.

      You're such a predictable bunch.

  • Bad idea (Score:5, Interesting)

    by c++horde ( 5004541 ) on Friday June 01, 2018 @06:20PM (#56712622)
    As a former Microsoft developer, I can tell you, this is a really bad idea. Microsoft internally has one of the best revision control systems I've ever used (Source Depot), so we know they won't use it, but they will control how source code is managed and he who controls the keys to the repository also controls the builds. I vote really, really bad idea. Start moving your projects back to SourceForge.
    • Re:Bad idea (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Actually, I do RTFA ( 1058596 ) on Friday June 01, 2018 @06:24PM (#56712642)

      Microsoft has good build tools. They have build chains that build onto iOS and Android (mostly to try to tempt people into also building for Windows Phone).

    • Re:Bad idea (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 01, 2018 @07:27PM (#56712860)

      As a former Microsoft developer, I can tell you, this is a really bad idea. Microsoft internally has one of the best revision control systems I've ever used (Source Depot), so we know they won't use it, but they will control how source code is managed and he who controls the keys to the repository also controls the builds.

      I vote really, really bad idea. Start moving your projects back to SourceForge.

      The Windows code base is already hosted on Git. It was migrated from Source Depot to Git and in the process GVFS was created to allow Git to scale. This is no secret, it's been reported in the news for over a year.

    • Re:Bad idea (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 01, 2018 @07:39PM (#56712906)
      GitHub to SourceForge import tool: https://sourceforge.net/p/forg... [sourceforge.net]
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Source Depot is no more - Windows is now built using Git

      https://www.reddit.com/r/windows/comments/61pnmv/source_depot_is_no_more_windows_is_now_built/

    • Sounds like you haven't worked there for a while. Source Depot is pretty much abandonware at this point, and only a few teams with a lot of legacy dependencies are using it. Most teams are moving to git.

      Have you noticed all the tight git integration occurring in Visual Studio, or how Microsoft has actually been contributing to git to improve performance on extremely large projects? It's because all their internal teams are using git, and we get the integration as a benefit.

      • by ebvwfbw ( 864834 )

        Man WTH is up with Microsoft? Someone way high up there seems to be able to mess up a wet dream. They had infopath which wasn't that bad. I know a number of people, even recently that were developing on it only to find out it's gone and Microsoft wouldn't even tell them that it's abandoned. They just would never get back to them. I keep reading and finding out about things like this. Maybe they have too many Harvard MBAs on staff?

        Now they want to spread their incompetence to other areas? Wonderful. Seems li

    • by Xest ( 935314 )

      Well you're right you're certainly not a current employee at least because Microsoft has been using Git for years and embracing open source internally for just as long. Once Nadella took over this moved from side project to wholesale way of working. Microsoft now has a massive interest in Git succeeding because they've bet their horse on it.

      I'm surprised even as a former employee you don't know this, even former employees tend to know what their ex employers are doing through past colleagues, especially one

  • So, if Microsoft is ambiguous about how it intends to handle people's confidential projects / personal code repos, and someone "deleted" all their content and wants to leave, will that actually be deleted or available to Microsoft? Hm.
  • by mejustme ( 900516 ) on Friday June 01, 2018 @06:30PM (#56712682)

    What an incredibly effective way to piss off a large set of developers! The early adopters of git obviously were non-microsoft devs. Just discussing this now will be seen as a very serious threat to most of that population subset. Just look at any other product MS has purchased over the years to see what happened to the linux (or non-MS) version 1-2 years after the purchase.

    E.g., anyone had any trouble using Skype in Linux over the last year, versus 3-5 years ago?

    How long would it take before access to github is integrated into VisualStudio, and how long after that will the command-line version of git start failing to pull/push/etc to github? "Pull must be performed from within VisualStudio Team Explorer. Command-line version of git is no longer supported. Please upgrade to VisualStudio 2020."

    • Git is already supported by VS, what is the problem?
      • Git is already supported by VS, what is the problem?

        The problem is when Visual Studio becomes the *only* way to access it.

        • That is not going to happen, why would they do that? They are open-sourcing .net core, not going the other way.
          • by Required Snark ( 1702878 ) on Friday June 01, 2018 @09:19PM (#56713394)
            "why would they do that?"

            Because they are Microsoft and they live and die by NIH. That is why they have strangled so may other projects they acquired. They are even better at destroying other peoples work then Oracle, and that is world class competition.

            In Microsoft Land the sequence is acquisition => integration => brain death. For example if they buy GitHub then they will "integrate" it with Linkedin, and it will be like using Facebook as a development platform. Good luck with that.

            • "why would they do that?"

              Because they are Microsoft and they live and die by NIH. That is why they have strangled so may other projects they acquired.

              Yeah... about that. So go back in time to 2003 (or so) when a small company called Navision up and sold their ERP solution Axapta to Microsoft. Fast-forward to today, and Axapta 3 has morphed into the Azure-hosted Dynamics 365. The original codebase is still there, but it's a vastly superior product and expanded product.

              They acquired it; they improved it out of sight!

            • They bought Minecraft and integrated into what again? Hotmail is still around, so are Skype, Xamarin, LinkedIn, etc. What are your examples?
    • E.g., anyone had any trouble using Skype in Linux^W^W over the last year, versus 3-5 years ago?

      FTFY. It's been astounding to me how they have somehow managed to make a video chat app nearly impossible to use for video chatting.

    • by Xtifr ( 1323 ) on Friday June 01, 2018 @11:35PM (#56713862) Homepage

      Git itself is still GPL'd. They can't distribute modified (or unmodified) versions without also providing the source code. Which means that any changes they make to provide a "special" version can easily be taken up by the folks who make the command-line version.

      And even if they could, the result, if they tried such a thing, would be to fragment the community. Which is Github's main asset. Git, if you recall, is a distributed system. There's no need for a central point. A site like Github is merely a convenience for users. The only real benefit of Github is its community. If they damage that, they damage Github, but don't harm Git, because Git users aren't locked into Github.

      Lots of big projects (including lots of big enterprise-y projects that MS customers care about) are already hosted on other sites, especially Gitlab. Plenty of big projects (including lots of big enterprise-y projects that MS customers care about) are cross-platform, and would quickly move to something else (e.g. Gitlab) if Github tried to turn MS-only. There simply isn't enough leverage there for MS to do anything nefarious at this stage.

      Granted, I'd be watching like a hawk for their next move if they bought Github. But this move by itself doesn't really seem to give them any real opportunities, beyond the obvious of making money off of all the commercial projects hosted on Github.

      (And frankly, if they do buy Github, I predict a lot of projects move to Gitlab or some other site anyway, as a just-in-case measure. Probably not enough to damage Github, but enough to help drive the point home: we're not locked in, guys.)

    • The notion that MS would somehow lock out command-line access to GitHub or turn it into a MS or Visual Studio-only product is absurd, if for no other reason than it would screw over MS devs just as badly as everyone else. Yeah, shocker, a lot of MS and Windows devs use command line tools as well, and a lot of their stuff is on GitHub.

      I mean, MS is moving in the complete opposite direction, making Windows work better with Linux tools, Visual Studio targeting multiple platforms and using multiple toolchains,

  • by Anonymous Coward
    For Microsoft to be in charge of so much code is an existantial threat. The only thing worse if Microsoft takes over the Linux or BSD git repos or buys out the Wikimedia Foundation.
  • Goodbye (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Misagon ( 1135 ) on Friday June 01, 2018 @06:41PM (#56712732)

    I have already said goodbye to Skype and Linked-In after they had been taken over.
    If this happens, I would say goodbye to Github too for sure.

    The users of Github are not sheep. They are not like Microsoft's typical users that would accept lock-in and clunky interfaces because they don't know any better.

  • If Microsoft buys GitHub, I am moving all my code to GitLab or Bitbucket.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    SourceForge has an importer that will import your GitHub project https://sourceforge.net/p/forg... [sourceforge.net]
  • It's pretty easy to set up your own git repo... I don't understand why more people don't do it.

    • by Xtifr ( 1323 )

      Github offers a lot more than just git. But yeah, few projects would have much difficulty moving to another system, like, say, Gitlab, if Github went rogue. Which makes me doubt that MS has any plans to turn Github rogue. There's simply not enough lock-in there.

    • Assuming you're not talking about strictly personal projects, that means managing your own internet-facing servers. What could possibly go wrong with an amateur doing that?

      GitHub is free for open source projects, and most everyone knows about it and knows how to use it. What's not to like? One of the great things about git is the fact that you always have a copy of the entire repo locally, which means lock-in is pretty much impossible.

      • Assuming you're not talking about strictly personal projects, that means managing your own internet-facing servers. What could possibly go wrong with an amateur doing that?

        At least some of us already manage internet-facing servers for a living. And while no protocol is problem-free, ssh should be easier to keep secure than most.

        But that’s mainly speaking to the people who use GitHub for work purposes. Adding a web interface, like you’d probably want to do for community projects, would indeed increase the degree of difficulty.

  • I get that they don't have good code in VSO to train their self-programming AI's on (just a bunch of business code with shitloads of patchwork by lots of maintenance devs - a true mess.) I also get that they want to stick stuff into GitHub's EULA bypassing any open source license or patent rights for themselves when code is uploaded to GitHub. But not a fucking chance will I continue using it if that traitorous corporation of so-pc-they-actually-fire-entire-departments-for-being-"too-white" globalist h1b
  • to see if any of it could be used to remove DRM.
    It looks like your trying to share code that will circumvent DRM...
  • by Hallux-F-Sinister ( 5127197 ) on Friday June 01, 2018 @11:21PM (#56713836)
    “I am NOT a giant fish!” Oh, wait...

    ...that wasn’t the quote I was looking for. It can go about its business. Move along.
  • Once Microsoft bought it, Skype turned into the default business communication tool, but everybody else ran away.

    If they buy GitHub, businesses will use it for their own development teams. But the rest of us will probably go to Bitbucket or elsewhere.

  • Just to be ready for MS' take over!

  • Soon you will be able to login on github with the hotmail email account you created in the 90's... Gross....

  • by LaughingRadish ( 2694765 ) on Saturday June 02, 2018 @07:06AM (#56714798) Journal

    In the event of Github selling out to Microsoft, I want to be sure I can download all issue discussion, wikis, and so on from my projects and then upload that information to a new service, say Gitlab. Could I get some people to suggest programs/scripts for accomplishing this?

  • Itâ(TM)s not that I dislike Microsoft, but itâ(TM)s recent track record, that includes Skype and Nokia, suggest that they are best to leave the good stuff alone.

    Buying an important stake in GitHub would be fine, but having so much control they meddle with a good thing, no thank you.

  • Microsoft isn't the 90s Microsoft anymore. They're banking on getting out of the software business and into the cloud business. Every single project they build these days beyond core Windows and Office has at least some open source component and they're already using Github to host all their code. Owning Github would be a way for them to build an even more seamless bridge into Azure for developers' applications. It's already incredibly easy to publish something through VSTS and the other 10,000 CI/CD tools

    • If they like the look and feel of Github so much, why don't they just implement something like Github on their own servers? They could buy a site license of the software from Github, Gitlab, or wherever if they don't want to roll their own solution. They can continue to use Github as they do now. That's all fine and dandy. That won't hurt the other users of Github. Why do they feel the need to own Github unless the objective is to infect Github itself with Microsoftish idiocy?

  • We use an on-premise enterprise edition of Gitlab.

    I would love for MSFT to acquire Github, simply because a lot of developers who live in a world of "Everything and everyone is on github, get there already!" would finally wake up and enable their tools to integrate with other repositories. The one in particular that I have in mind is Ansible Galaxy.

  • by sdinfoserv ( 1793266 ) on Saturday June 02, 2018 @11:06AM (#56715640) Homepage
    No, this is about licensing. Part of the new ELU wil be change to assume intellectual property rights from any project posted to GitHub. Micro$oft will own everything. Then charge for it's use.
  • Whenever I hear of MS acquiring a company I'm reminded of that Simpsons episode where Gates buys out Homer. It doesnt appear like that reputation has changed, even after all these years and changes in the company's management. I was an avid Minecraft player and enjoyed frequent additions to the game which kept me engaged. I was skeptically optimistic when MS acquired Mojang, hoping MS would positively influence development, but that didn't seem to come to fruition and updates are less frequent than ever. W
  • I'll be gone. That's what it will mean.

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