After days of speculation it’s been officially announced that Microsoft will be acquiring the open-source code repository, GitHub in full by the end of the year for $7,500,000,000.

That’s great! What’s GitHub?

GitHub is based in San Francisco, and is essentially just an online platform that lets coders from all over the world collaborate with each other on their work. And GitHub is kind of a big deal. The site and company are extremely popular with developers and companies hosting entire projects, documentation, and code. And it’s not just bedroom coders and small organizations that use it, but also some big players like Microsoft, Apple, Amazon and Google.

The GitHub Logo.

The GitHub Logo.

Microsoft have also said that it fully intends for GitHub to continue to operate independently, a sure sign that Microsoft is deadly serious about recent overtures and gestures its made about supporting open-source development.

“We recognize the community responsibility we take on with this agreement and will do our best work to empower every developer to build, innovate and solve the world’s most pressing challenge,” said Microsoft’s chief executive Satya Nadella in a statement. “We will accelerate enterprise developers’ use of GitHub, with our direct sales and partner channels and access to Microsoft’s global cloud infrastructure and services.”

Why now?

It’s a good question. Microsoft has struggled with independent love from developers for years. It’s a big part of the reasons Windows Phone failed. The platform and the hardware behind it was good, but app developers stayed well clear in the main. Another reason might be because Microsoft’s Universal Windows Apps platform is no where near as successful as it ought to be.

But Microsoft have spent some serious time in recent years improving Windows 10, with rumors abounding that the flagship operating system might be going open-source itself soon.

Microsoft also admitted defeat last year when it closed its own rival service to GitHub, Codeplex, openly admitting that GitHub had become the “de facto place for open source sharing.”