Report: Microsoft in Talks to Buy GitHub

Posted on June 2, 2018 by Paul Thurrott in Dev, Microsoft with 35 Comments

According to a report in Business Insider—which, admittedly, has a sketchy reputation—Microsoft recently held talks to acquire GitHub, which was most recently valued at about $2 billion.

But the report cites “people close to the companies,” which suggests multiple sources that are tied, collectively, to both Microsoft and GitHub. And CNBC appears to have confirmed the report, noting that “one person familiar with the discussions [said] that the companies had been considering a joint marketing partnership valued around $35 million, and that those discussions had progressed to a possible investment or outright acquisition.”

Business Insider also notes that Microsoft has held acquisition talks over the years with GitHub and that those talks “have grown more serious in the past few weeks.” What’s not clear is whether those talks are still ongoing, a point to which CNBC agrees. In other words, this deal might have come and gone.

That said, some heavy-hitters are in line to run GitHub, regardless of what happens. Google senior VP of ads and commerce Sridhar Ramaswamy is in the running for the CEO job. And Business Insider says that Microsoft’s Nat Friedman, a co-founder of Xamarin, might run GitHub should a Microsoft investment or acquisition occur.

So what’s GitHub?

GitHub is a web-based repository and version control system for software projects. It’s used by developers to store and share software code, and it has emerged as a central tool for developers all of kinds. As part of its evolving stance on interoperability with the outside world, Microsoft first embraced GitHub years ago and it now offers deep integration with the service via its Visual Studio tools.


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