If i think back far enough I’m pretty sure there were once anti-trust laws in America. Sorry just lamenting. So another day in the world and another useful service is being gobbled up by an corporate parasite. Yes Microsoft bought Github for $7.5 billion with a B. Github for anyone who doesn’t know is an uber useful code collaboration and revision control platform. Where previously developers would attempt to juggle complex directory structures to keep their revisions documented and available. Today it is all done in the cloud by a brilliant piece of software called Git. Github on the other hand is a very popular website for managing Git repositories. They thankfully are not the same thing, and for anyone who is understandably ready to jump ship as fast as possible know that there are competent competitors to Github such as Gitlab who have seen a 10x increase in new user registration since the news of Github’s sale. and Bitbucket which uses a similar but different piece of software called Mercurial
So why so negative about Microsoft? I will admit there are some possible paths this story may take that may not be all together disastrous. But developer trust in Microsoft has always been far less than the company would like. There have been plenty of efforts in previous years to rebuilt that trust. Microsoft Visual Studio has seen a lot of attention recently, possibly even more than Microsoft Office. They created the Windows 10 IOT editions developed to run on ARM processors such as Raspberry Pi. They have also introduced BASH for Windows, the now defacto Linux shell interface. This may signal an attempt from Microsoft to ditch their previous practice of developing a proprietary interface for every technology regardless of if industry standard technologies are more appropriate or not. For example the constant nagging of Internet Explorer and now Edge to be your default operating system despite being an inferior product nobody wants. This has gotten so bad it now circulates in internet memes as a running joke. “If IE has the courage to ask you to be your default browser every day you should have the courage to ask out that girl you like.”, and similar.
C# & .NET are another example as it VERY closely mimics Java. I know people will disagree on this point but I don’t see any reason Microsoft couldn’t have just adopted Java to take the role of it’s go-to higher level language like it did with C beginning with Windows 3.1. It would seem that again and again Microsoft tries to copy existing and functional tech seemingly just to make its own walled in computer ecosystem where Microsoft owns all. Which in itself is a copied business model from Apple.
So is it really so inappropriate to be nervous of this acquisition? Will Microsoft do the intelligent thing and keep Github as an functionally independent part of the company? Or will Github be the next thing to be constantly begging you to use Edge & Bing..