Founded in 1975, Microsoft started acquiring smaller companies more than a decade later, averaging six such business transactions a year since 1987, the costliest of which came not long ago, under Satya Nadella’s supervision.
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.
Microsoft is looking to cough up a whopping $7.5 billion (in stock) for GitHub, the world’s “leading software development platform”, and the only things standing in the way of the deal’s completion are “customary closing conditions” and a standard “regulatory review.”
All should be done by “the end of the calendar year”, and Microsoft is delighted to further build on its “developer-focused” foundation to “empower every developer to build, innovate and solve the world’s most pressing challenges.”
Created in 2008, the GitHub repository hosting service broke the 100,000 users barrier around mid-2009, needing only one more year to cross 1 million repositories hosted. Nowadays, people in “nearly every country” of the world collaborate on GitHub, and Microsoft just so happens to be its most “active organization”, with over 2 million updates made to various projects.
In total, more than 28 million developers currently share over 85 million code repositories on GitHub, and Microsoft wants to come closer to this incredible community, supporting devs at “every stage of the development lifecycle – from ideation to collaboration to deployment to the cloud.”
There will be no restrictions as to the programming languages, tools and operating systems GitHub collaborators can use, and even with Microsoft Corporate Vice President Nat Friedman at GitHub’s helm, the smaller company will continue to “operate independently.”