Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) has bought one of the world’s largest providers of open-sourced software and blockchain solutions: GitHub.
The software giant will pay $7.5 billion in cash and stock for GitHub, a June 4, 2018, press release confirmed. GitHub is controlled by a privately-held limited liability company that Microsoft tried to buy back in 2016.
It is easily to see why Microsoft wants GitHub; 28 million software developers and 1.8 million organizations worldwide distribute software and open source code through its platform. GitHub is one of the major distribution channels for blockchain oriented solutions. GitHub is also one of the world’s largest stockpiles of software, it operates 85 million repositories worldwide.
Microsoft’s major use for GitHub will be to distribute its products such as Windows, Word, Office, etc. to software developers through it. Other uses will be to make Microsoft products available through the blockchain and to integrate Microsoft products with the free open source solutions there.
An example of such a use would be adding Excel or Word capability to a blockchain based file-sharing or resume writing solution. Another will be to offer Excel and Word for sale on the blockchain.
GitHub will probably be added to Microsoft’s Intelligent Cloud, the press release reported. The GitHub purchase means that Microsoft still a leader in software and a value investment. The GitHub purchase will not need to be approved by antitrust regulators, if they say yes, Microsoft can turn open-source into a major new profit center.
All that remains to be seen, is how developers will react to the buyout. Many of them will undoubtedly start searching for alternatives to the new Microsoft owned GitHub. That might be good news for some of the blockchain-based open sourced software projects out there.