It is no doubt that GitHub is popular among developers. When AWS wanted to broaden their outreach to OSS Community, they started sharing code on the service. Even when Microsoft wanted to broadcast to the world that they are serious about OSS, its Github that they went to. Google retired Google Code and moved to GitHub. While Gitlab and Bitbucket existed, they were seen as also-rans. Its also like everyone using InstallShield back in the day. It is popular, but with a weak lock-in.
This week when Microsoft announced that they are acquiring GitHub, the reactions were varied. As always, we had the sky is falling reaction from a small faction of OSS folks. But for the most part, it was the acknowledgment that MSFT is a good home for GitHub. Cloud providers like AWS and GCP both have serious tie-ins to the service and I would be surprised if they are not already be working on mitigation plans. However, don’t expect immediate moves from them.
Here is why:
- The burden is on Microsoft to prove to the world that they will not do anything illogical with GitHub and continue its independence. A wrong move in the early days will fast drop the value of the acquisition from $7.5B to maybe $75. Microsoft can not risk alienation of OSS audience and can not give a chance to GCP or AWS to accuse them of this. Expect Microsoft to be extra nice to the ecosystem and even competitors for next 9–12 months. Microsoft has to walk a very tight rope in the short term.
- This gives plenty of time for GCP and AWS to work out mitigation plans to reduce dependence on GitHub. They might start elevating other platforms to the same level as GitHub. Although, I expect them to say we already treat Gitlab and Bitbucket on par with Github.
In the longer term, the impact of GitHub acquisition to Microsoft is not as big as many are expecting. It’s neither a brilliant nor a strategic move, rather a needed move for Microsoft. They needed to expand beyond locked gardens of Windows and this helps, just like other OSS efforts do. The impact on AWS and GCP will also be minimal and might actually help them to execute moves to take advantage of short-term perception of fragmentation.
In summary, not much has changed in the short term and not much will change long-term. We can now stop the hysteria and get back to building stuff and complain about flights on Twitter.
Disclaimer: StackSense.io invites outside experts to offer their opinions on various topics related to Modern Enterprise IT Stacks. Neither StackSense nor Rishidot Research is responsible for their opinions. We believe in fostering an open channel for discussions on topics related to Modern Enterprise