GitHub rolled out its first major updates following Microsoft’s $7.5 billion acquisition of the development platform. The updates provide more flexibility for smaller developer teams and larger organizations.
For smaller teams, the GitHub Free platform now includes unlimited private repositories. (A repository is like a folder where code and instructions for a project are kept.) This gives developers unlimited repositories in which to collaborate on private projects with up to three other collaborators per repository.
GitHub is also continuing to offer free access to public repositories, which are also open to an unlimited number of collaborators. The main difference between public and private repositories is that public repositories are visible to everyone while only the owner and collaborators can view or contribute to a private repository.
The other update is the integration of GitHub’s cloud-based and on-premises enterprise offerings into a single platform with common pricing. The two access options had been offered individually and had different pricing structures. GitHub also has its Connect product that provides a secure link for hybrid use of the access types.
“I think that gives companies flexibility in either option and will hopefully sync-up the features and capabilities of the previously separate offers,” noted Edwin Yuen, senior analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group.
Many were concerned that Microsoft would dampen the freedom of what has become an important aspect of open source collaboration. When the deal was announced, GitHub claimed more than 28 million registered users and 85 million repositories.
Some opposed to the deal cited Microsoft’s anti open source history. This included statements by its former CEO Steve Ballmer that open source platforms like Linux were a “cancer.”
However, Microsoft’s current leadership under CEO Satya Nadella has been vocal in embracing the open source community. This includes its joining of the Linux Foundation in late 2016; joining the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) last July; and fully embracing the open source Kubernetes container orchestrator as key to its cloud operations.
“Today, we are all-in with open source,” Nadella said when the GitHub deal was announced. “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.”
Yuen added that Microsoft has also helped its GitHub case by allowing the organization to remain a separate entity.
“It’s not surprising that GitHub will remain a separate entity, as that was what was announced before and I think that the acceptance of the Microsoft acquisition by the larger community would have required it,” Yuen said. “We have seen Microsoft continue to maintain several of their acquisitions as separate entities, especially when they had significant brand or customer bases.”