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Why GitHub?

Microsoft's most exciting acquisition last week was the purchase of Github for a reported $7.5 billion. Github was founded ten years ago as an open data source repository and quickly grew to over 100 million developers worldwide. Prior to 2008, less than skilled developers were known to perform Google searches and cut and paste their code instead of writing it for themselves. Github replaced this cut and paste philosophy with "just download the whole source code".

Long-time Microsoft fans may wonder as to why Microsoft decided to make this purchase. First, the acquisition makes sense because Microsoft is buying a valuable repository used by experienced and less than skilled developers world wide. The analytics of knowing which customers are downloading what piece of code is incredibly valuable to support customer insights. When you integrate this into the world's leading ERP, Dynamics 365 which is already integrated with LinkedIn, it will help Microsoft sell a lot more software.

Having control over the world's largest open source repository also has its advantages in being able to maintain Microsoft as the world's leader in software development. If Microsoft chose to let GitHub die on the vine or even turn off the site, it would affect software developers around the world. Imagine being able to turn off your competitors like turning off a light switch.

In recent years, Microsoft has emphasized no-code technologies such as Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Microsoft Office 365 (PowerApps/Flow/Forms). Building high performing no-code technologies increases the barrier to market entry for competitive technologies. With the recent endorsement by Linus Torvald, it calls into question if any competition to Microsoft truly exists.

Even more exciting is that this can open up new markets for Microsoft. One of the challenges facing the world today is the growth of AI and machine learning and commoditizing those algorithms. In the healthcare industry this is particularly important to be able to integrate AI/Machine learning products into clinical workflows at a mass scale. Microsoft can choose to leverage the GitHub platform as a platform to provide more publishing capabilities to support AI/Machine learning algorithms that directly integrate with Microsoft Azure.

Jenna Bourgeois, MCAD, MCSD, MCSE, MCITP, MCTS, MCT, CEO of Dynamics Intelligence has been writing software since 1982 and has specialized on the Microsoft platform since the late 80s.


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