Microsoft close to buying coding database GitHub

Together, the two companies will empower developers to achieve more at every stage of the development lifecycle, accelerate enterprise use of GitHub, and bring Microsoft's developer tools and services to new audiences. Microsoft might pay upwards of $5 billion for the company.

While some developers seem unhappy about an acquisition, it's possible that Microsoft's interest is GitHub's saving grace.

Now Bloomberg reports that the companies have come to an agreement, and the purchase is now a done deal, and may be announced as soon as tomorrow.

"Microsoft is a developer-first company, and by joining forces with GitHub we strengthen our commitment to developer freedom, openness and innovation", said Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft.

In August, GitHub announced that it was looking for a CEO to replace Chris Wanstrath, one of the company's co-founders.

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GitHub reportedly preferred selling to going public, and chose Microsoft after meeting Nadella and being impressed by him. And as CNBC points out, data from GitHub could also help Microsoft better its artificial intelligence capabilities. GitHub allegedly hosts over 80 million code repositories and 27 million developer accounts. GitHub was valued at over $2 billion in 2015, a sum that is now considerably larger. Other coders are then able to tinker with and improve the code.

"GitHub doesn't compete with most companies, but Microsoft is a potential competitor or acquirer for a huge percentage of smaller companies in the tech industry", says Salibra.

Over on The Register, results of a poll suggest that people are less than keen on the idea of Microsoft snapping up GitHub. If Microsoft does acquire GitHub, it could be seen as a visible attempt to further integrate Linux and Windows and increase interoperability, as demonstrated by the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) compatibility layer found in Windows 10.

Despite Microsoft's turn towards open-source, some GitHub users remain concerned that Microsoft's leadership will undermine the core values of the system and hurt the developers that rely on it. Microsoft's deep pockets can, at least, ensure that GitHub stays active for a long time.

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