GitLab gets deep pocket monies, gears up for war with Microsoft


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Recent events have seen GitLab, an underdog in the code repository war, acquire financing to the tune of $100 million, most of which from the company who manages Mark Zuckerberg's monies, Iconiq Capital. The firm now stands at a valuation of $1.1 billion, which is nothing to sneeze at. It also shores up GitLab's chances against Microsoft and its acquisition of much-larger rival GitHub. GitLab, like GitHub, offers a Git-based software development tool where developers store, share, collaborate and discuss their code development.

While $100 million is a good day for GitLab, the event is symptomatic of the newest trend in the wonderful world of software development. The code repository business has become Silicon Valley's hot ticket item in the months since Microsoft announced it would buy GitHub, and its 28-million developer base, in a stock-for-stock exchange valued at $7.5 billion.

Unfortunately, this also caused some backlash. Microsoft, due to its back history in open source development, colorful former executives (such as Steve Ballmer, who once dubbed open source as "a cancer") and corporate mindset, cuts against the grain of GitHub, despite the company being one of the repository's biggest contributors. Some developers have been quite vocal about their resistance to Microsoft, while Microsoft-appointed leadership even took to a reddit AMA to placate developers.

GitHub and its 28 million-strong developer base have been in a waiting pattern since the Microsoft announcement, and the developer community, which feels the deal goes against the spirit of open-source, have been slowly but steadily leaving and joining the competition - one of such being GitLab. The remaining developers on GitHub are anxious to understand what will happen to their projects. Their worst fear: that Microsoft will be allowed to gain insight on their code, which would result in an unfair advantage for the software giant. If a mass exodus ever occurs, GitLab could be the next big code repository, and investors' capital could be multiplied many times over.

The fact is, GitHub holds such sway over the business, right now, that the sheer volume of code and size of its user base has the EU Antitrust regulators looking at the deal. The EU regulators are expected to deliberate on the matter precisely a month from today. If the deal raises any eyebrows, an investigation may be ordered and the deal stalled.

Coming back to GitLab, shortly after the funding was completed, the company announced a recruitment drive, seeking out 10 new frontend developers to bolster its 350-strong team.

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I don't understand how Microsoft now owning Github makes it any easier for them to benefit from the code people post there. Its OPEN SOURCE - anyone could already use it as long as they give the proper credits. Buying Github also shouldn't mean that MS now *owns* any of that open source stuff unless Github had a nasty little caveat in its ToS that actually makes that possible. If so then the Github users have only themselves to blame. What will actually happen is that MS will start forking major projects with their own proprietary code embedded while tempting devs with resources like free copies of VS (and of course their own Linux distro, which they just released). The ol' 4X strategy rides again! MS knows that the days of Windows being the only game in town are numbered so their going to get their tendrils into every platform and harvest that precious user data. Google has built an empire on the backs of open source and privacy invasion - Microsoft is merely playing catch-up. With the possible exception of Apple, every company is primarily a marketing business now.
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What will actually happen is that MS will start forking major projects with their own proprietary code embedded
You don't understand how GitHub works. Every popular repository includes a license agreement that prevents such activity. Microsoft would end up being sued for something like this.

Most of developers left GitHub for GitLab since the announcement, and mostly due to the terrible history of what Microsoft has done with most of its acquisitions. Skype is probably the most recent example.

I fear they are gonna change the UI into something horrible, and integrate Skype into it. Nobody needs either of those things. And all developer teams use Slack these days for communication that far supersedes Skype when it comes to team chats and code exchanges.
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