$2 billion startup GitHub has officially won over Microsoft

GitHub co-founder Chris WanstrathFlickr/by DaveFayramGitHub co-founder and CEO Chris Wanstrath

Today, Microsoft announces via blog entry the shutdown of CodePlex, its 11-year-old site where programmers could host and share the code for their software projects.

When it was founded in 2006, CodePlex was one Microsoft’s biggest steps into the world of open source software — where any programmer, anywhere can download and tweak the code to their liking. At the time, Microsoft saw free open source software, including the Linux operating system, as a major competitive threat.

In that blog, Microsoft Corporate VP Brian Harry writes that the CodePlex shutdown is because the world of open source has almost entirely moved over to GitHub’s very similar service. GitHub, a $US2 billion San Francisco startup, rose from humble origins in 2008 to becoming known as the “Facebook for programmers.”

“Over the years, we’ve seen a lot of amazing options come and go but at this point, GitHub is the de facto place for open source sharing and most open source projects have migrated there,” writes Harry in that blog.

In fact, as Harry points out in his blog post, Microsoft has moved to GitHub in a big way, too: Back in September 2016, GitHub released stats showing that Microsoft beat out Facebook to become the company with the most programmers contributing to open source software on the platform.

CodePlex will officially vanish as of December 15th, 2017, writes Harry, but Microsoft will be providing tools to get existing code off of the platform.

Back in 2015, Google shut down its troll-ridden Google Code, too, as the world moved to GitHub. That means that, in a material way, GitHub has emerged victorious in a long but not particularly dramatic battle with Google and Microsoft. And, for Microsoft’s part, it’s another sign that the company is willing to place nice with others’ technology nowadays.

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