Microsoft acquired GitHub for $7.5 billion in stock last week, the third largest in Microsoft’s history behind Skype ($8.5B) and LinkedIn ($26.2B). Microsoft paid 30x GitHub’s annual revenue, nearly 5x what they paid for LinkedIn back in 2016. 😮
We all get anxious when our favorite product is gobbled up by a giant — especially one like Microsoft, who has a history of embracing brands… only to destroy them later. Sunrise, a wildly popular calendar app, and Mailbox, a stunning email client, are now both headstones in big tech’s digital graveyard.
There’s serious concern that Microsoft could use the acquisition to advance its own interests at the expense of GitHub’s dedicated community. Maybe they put up LinkedIn-style paywalls. Or, maybe…
Funny side note: a maker on Product Hunt built an extension to embed Clippy onto any website with a couple lines of code. Check it out.
Our worst fears seem unlikely to happen for a few reasons. Code hosting startups like Gitlab are waiting to scoop up disgruntled developers. GitHub is also massively popular, with over 28M accounts. Over 15% of AngelList users have linked a GitHub profile to their account.
“We are not buying GitHub to turn it into Microsoft; we are buying GitHub because we believe in the importance of developers.” This comes from GitHub’s incoming CEO Nat Friedman in a Reddit AMA. Whew. 😪
Developers, developers, developers
The acquisition price can’t fully be explained by GitHub’s revenues ($200M). Analysts believe the market value of GitHub was closer to $3B, which means Microsoft paid an extra $4 billion dollars for something.
Developers matter to Microsoft. Microsoft needs software engineers to build applications on the Windows platform for it to be useful.
But over the past decade, developers have been busy building on Android, iOS, Facebook, Google Cloud, and AWS, leaving Microsoft feeling the bitter sting of unrequited love. 💔
Microsoft is fighting back by embedding itself into developer workflows. The most important tool for many developers is their text editor: Microsoft VS Code has become the editor of choice amongst many AngelList engineers. Microsoft acquired a beloved product central in the lives of developers: only time will tell whether everybody sticks around.
Learn how to GitHub
GitHub isn’t easy to learn. Instead of guessing your way through tutorials for hours, enroll in the Github Learning Lab. The friendly bot will teach you:
📝 Markdown, the internet’s favorite formatting tool
🖥️ Github Pages to build free websites in minutes
😬 Merge conflicts, or when you and your coworkers disagree
This isn’t the only bot-based education tool to launch recently: a SMS-based university launched over the summer, with entrepreneurship lessons from UCLA, USC, and Babson professors.
Bots really are everywhere 💅
Bots are much bigger than chatbots. Meet Lil Miquela, a completely CGI Instagram influencer with over 1.2M followers and features in Vogue.
Her creators are pulling in real money: she’s modeled for Lululemon competitor Outdoor Voices and Highsnobiety. The company behind her looks just raised $6M from Sequoia Capital to design CGI influencers.
She looks eerily real. 😳
Lucky for us humans, a new wave of Augmented Reality and AI tools are here to help us compete with Lil Miquela:
💅 Wanna Nails (launching this week!) lets you try on nail polish in AR. Buy the perfect shade directly in-app and snap a picture for Insta. Nifty.
📸 FaceApp uses neural networks to make you look younger, older, a different gender, or even smile, all with one tap.
🤳 Meitu makes your selfies gorgeous. Downloaded by over 1 billion, powered by facial recognition and AR tech.