I have to admit, I’m mildly surprised by Microsoft buying Github. I mean, I always expected Github to eventually sell out, but I thought the buyer would be Google. Speaking of which, I wonder how pissed big G currently is, after abandoning Google Code in favour of Github and migrating tons of their own projects there. It’s bittersweet irony, when you consider that Microsoft was the company to pioneer customer lock-in in the software business, Google not only learned the ropes from, but also surpassed them and now the master is teaching the student a new page.
Anyway, what does this mean for the Raccoon APK downloader? Precious little, actually. As I said, I always expected Github to eventually either sell out or go belly up, so I never used it for anything beyond hosting my source code repositories, meaning that I can (and will) easily pull out. I just wish that this had happened at a more convenient time. But hey, it will probably take Microsoft at least a year before they can start squeezing. More than enough time for an orderly withdrawal.
The lesson to take away from this is: stay away from the cloud. Never ever make your business depend on it! The “cloud” is the same customer lock-in clusterfuck, Microsoft pulled back in the day with its proprietary file formats (“holding your data hostage to make you stay with the product”). Them buying Github is just proof of them sticking with their old methods and if you happened to be in the industry in the ’90s, you know what that means. Microsoft never was and never will be trustworthy. Replacing a loud (“Linux is a cancer”) with a charismatic CEO (“We love developers, and we love open source developers”) does not magically change a corporate culture that has been cultivated for years.
Oh and one last thing for everyone who says that open source developers never paid for the service, so they have no right to complain about Github being sold now: open source developers have every right to complain. Without our projects, Github would never have become a success. We put the content on the platform and we advertised it through word of mouth. That was the deal Github made us for free hosting. Microsoft is the anti thesis to open source and what it stands for (freedom from customer lock-in). Most of the older generation devs haven’t forgotten how bad that company used to screw us in the past. Selling us to them is the biggest knife, the owners of Github could possibly stick into our backs.