Warning: As you read through this story, you will discover how Bitcoin is in fact regulated, you just didn’t know about it yet! All that is about to change…..
This is Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella’s second big acquisition, following the $26.2 billion acquisition of LinkedIn two years ago.
GitHub was last valued at $2 billion back in 2015, and Microsoft is paying $7.5 billion in stock for the company in a deal that should close later this year.
GitHub is a large code repository that has become very popular with developers and companies hosting entire projects, documentation, and code. Apple, Amazon, Google, and many other big tech companies use GitHub.
There are 85 million repositories hosted on GitHub, and 28 million developers contribute to them. GitHub will now be led by CEO Nat Friedman, the founder of Xamarin, who will report to Microsoft’s Cloud and AI chief Scott Guthrie. GitHub CEO and co-founder Chris Wanstrath will now become a technical fellow at Microsoft, also reporting into Guthrie.
It’s easy to imagine why Microsoft would want to acquire GitHub. Microsoft killed its own GitHub competitor, Codeplex, in December and is now the top contributor to GitHub, Microsoft now has more than 1,000 employees actively pushing code to GitHub repositories.
Its popularity among developers could see Microsoft earn some much-needed trust and respect from developers.
In bigger enterprises and slower moving businesses, the fact Microsoft has acquired GitHub will make it more trusted to use for projects and source control, simply because Microsoft is already trusted across many software and services by these companies.
“We will accelerate enterprise developers’ use of GitHub, with our direct sales and partner channels and access to Microsoft’s global cloud infrastructure and services,” says Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.
MICROSOFT WILL NEED TO EARN TRUST AND RESPECT FROM DEVELOPERS
Trust and respect won’t be easy for Microsoft to win, though. Developers are already voicing their concerns about Microsoft’s past abuses, and the company’s botched acquisition of Skype and Nokia’s phone business.
GitHub itself hasn’t scaled well and has faced its own issues over the years, and there are legitimate concerns that Microsoft will need to address. GitLab, a GitHub competitor, claims it has seen a 10x increase in the amount of developers moving their repositories over to its service, an early sign that there’s some developer unrest.
Microsoft won’t be able to address the general concern that important tools and internet services keep being consolidated into the hands of a few big tech companies.
“When it comes to our commitment to open source, judge us by the actions we have taken in the recent past, our actions today, and in the future,” says Nadella, in an attempt to ease concerns around Microsoft’s acquisition.
Microsoft also partnered with Canonical to bring Ubuntu to Windows 10, and acquired Xamarin to assist with mobile app development. These are moves that have been met with surprise by developers initially, but that have earned respect.
It’s essential that Microsoft stewards the GitHub community forward to earn even more trust and developer love. The Microsoft old isn’t the Microsoft of new, and this GitHub acquisition is a chance for Microsoft to prove that even further.
Microsoft has struggled with developer love for years, and it’s a big part of the reasons Windows Phone failed and that its Universal Windows Apps platform hasn’t taken off. Microsoft has spent recent years improving Windows 10 so it’s a respectable development box, and tools like Visual Studio Code — which lets developers build and debug web and cloud applications — have soared in popularity with developers.
THERE ARE A LOT OF QUESTIONS AROUND THE FUTURE OF GITHUB NOW
The question around this acquisition will be what Microsoft does with GitHub in the future. LinkedIn has largely remained separate, with some integrations into Microsoft’s Office software. Microsoft’s Minecraft acquisition has been managed equally well, and it’s likely that GitHub will need to stay as separate as possible to maintain developer trust. However, we could start to see even closer integration between Microsoft’s developer tools and the service. At Build last month, Microsoft continued its close work with GitHub by integrating the service into the company’s App Center for developers.
Microsoft clearly knows it needs to treat this acquisition with care. “Most importantly, we recognize the responsibility we take on with this agreement,” explains Nadella. “We are committed to being stewards of the GitHub community, which will retain its developer-first ethos, operate independently and remain an open platform. We will always listen to developer feedback and invest in both fundamentals and new capabilities.”
Four arrested as police work with Microsoft to crack down on fraudsters.
Police have arrested four people in the UK as part of an operation to crack down on fraudsters who pretend to work for technology companies such as Microsoft.
A 29-year-old man and a 31-year-old women were held by Surrey and Sussex Police’s Cyber Crime Unit in Woking on suspicion of fraud. They have since been bailed.
In South Shields, a 37-year-old man and a 35-year-old woman were arrested by the North East Regional Special Operations Unit (NERSOU) on suspicion of fraud. Both were later released pending further enquiries.
Bill Gates: cryptocurrencies have ’caused deaths in a fairly direct way’
Microsoft founder slams digital currencies as Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak reveals he was victim of bitcoin scam.
Bill Gates, the philanthropist and former chief executive of Microsoft, is concerned by the crytocurrency craze, saying that the anonymity offered by the new technology has “caused deaths in a fairly direct way”.
Speaking during a Reddit AMA, Gates argued that “the government’s ability to find money laundering and tax evasion and terrorist funding is a good thing.
“Right now cryptocurrencies are used for buying fentanyl and other drugs so it is a rare technology that has caused deaths in a fairly direct way.” In contrast to cash, which is also untraceable, cryptocurrencies can be used remotely, which removes another avenue of control, he added.
Gates also suggested that investing in the sector is a bad idea: “I think the speculative wave around ICOs and cryptocurrencies is super risky”.
In the group interview, Gates had harsh words for some other speculative technologies. Elon Musk’s Hyperloop concept, for instance, which involves using a railgun to fire a passenger compartment down a low-pressure tube at speeds of several hundred miles per hour, was dismissed: “I am not sure the Hyperloop concept makes sense,” he said. “Making it safe is hard.”
But Gates was positive about the overall direction of technology, dismissing concerns that rising automation could have negative consequences for the wider economy, and citing natural language understanding as the technology he’s most looking forward to over the next decade.
“Automation has been driving productivity ever since the industrial revolution including things like tractors and garment making,” Gates said. “With software this will continue to accelerate so we need to think about how we educate people for the new jobs that will emerge.
“Overall automation is a great thing – eventually we won’t have to work as much but we are still at least a generation away from a big change there.”
Gates is not the only former tech executive to have a negative view of cryptocurrencies. Steve Wozniak, the co-founder of Apple, revealed on Tuesday that he had lost seven bitcoins to a scammer.
“Somebody bought them from me online through a credit card, and they cancelled the credit card payment,” he told a conference in India. “It was that easy. And it was from a stolen credit card number, so you can never get it back.” At the time the scam was carried out, the bitcoins were worth just under $5,000; now, their value tops $70,000.
Gates had one final word of warning for readers of his interview. Asked by one user: “Is it true that if I forward the email in my inbox to 100 people you will give me money?”, he replied, simply: “No.”