Can the leopard change its spots?

I read the news of Microsoft’s intended purchase of Github (which I use for a number of projects) with a certain amount of trepidation. I’ve been around long enough to remember Gates and Ballmer trying to stick the knife into the open source community at any and every possible occasion and those wounds will probably not heal for some time. I don’t believe Microsoft is making the purchase out of altruistic reasons, particularly when paying what appears to be far more than the market valuation for the business (albeit in shares, so not real money). Where are Microsoft’s investors going to see the upside of this purchase?

Assuming the purchase is allowed to go ahead, my feeling is that Github features that don’t link into the Microsoft “ecosystem” may see little or no resource for development, whilst closer coupling with other Microsoft tools and Azure will be prioritised, the aim being to provide the developer with a path of least resistance that leads to more profitable (for Microsoft, at least) licensing and subscription payments. It may even be the case at some point in the future that there’s a move to shift development from users’ desktops to be “in the cloud”, effectively giving Microsoft ownership of the entire process from coding to production roll-out.

Obviously there’ll be some collateral damage, but perhaps not enough for Microsoft to worry about — those people they may not have received much income from in the first place.

Or perhaps I have it all wrong and Microsoft do just want to protect a resource that they use heavily themselves.

For the time being I intend to sit tight and see what happens. The moment I receive a message such as “You appear to be checking in a C++ project. Would you like our development tools to help with that?” however, they won’t see me for dust.

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