In addition to being home to the overwhelming majority of open source projects, it's also used by developers within companies to privately collaborate on software.
This is not the first time Microsoft has bought into a community.
The same increasingly ambitious CEO is today announcing his second biggest acquisition, and the third highest valued in the Redmond-based software giant's history, narrowly ahead of 2013's disastrous Nokia mobile phones unit integration, but behind 2011's $8.5 billion Skype merger.
GitHub, a San Francisco startup, was founded in 2008 and has grown sharply since announcing its first outside investment in 2012.
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GitHub hosts 27 million software developers working on 80 million repositories of code. Firstly, the company assures that GitHub will remain an open platform and will operate independently.
According to a blog post by Microsoft, the transaction will be completed by the end of this year. More than 28 million developers around the world use GitHub, with Microsoft ranking as the most active organization on it. Microsoft said it will also bolster the use of GitHub by businesses, relying on its sales team, existing corporate partnerships and cloud computing infrastructure. Gaining access to millions of developers and projects is a positive, but only if they continue using the service. And GitHub's outgoing CEO, Chris Wanstrath, will become a Microsoft technical fellow and report to Scott Guthrie. And for a staggering sum of $7.5 billion.
"So as we look to the next decade of software development and beyond, we know it's all about the developer". A considerable measure has changed from that point forward, and under CEO Satya Nadella, Microsoft is supporting numerous tastes of Linux and has utilized open-source models on some critical cloud and designer items. While some are happy to see GitHub getting the backing of Microsoft, others are rather concerned, and there have been reports of a sudden shift of projects to GitHub alternative GitLab.
"It's a logical and rational step for Microsoft", she said.
"The plan is to help GitHub be great at being GitHub", Friedman told Business Insider.