Microsoft reportedly to acquire GitHub software development platform

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Microsoft has reportedly agreed to acquire software development platform GitHub.

Last valued at $2 billion (in 2015), GitHub is responsible for hosting the single largest collection of code in one place, acting as the repository for projects ranging in scope from small developer teams to the likes of Google. However, three years later, that valuation may have ballooned, and the acquisition could set Microsoft back as much as $5 billion, according to an estimate from CNBC.

The reported acquisition comes amid the San Francisco-based company's almost year-long search for a new CEO, as well as its first profit from its services. If this acquisition falls through, Microsoft will benefit immensely by gaining access to millions of developers and companies who can prove to be potential users for Microsoft's cloud services and other technology products. It also helps Microsoft, which is increasingly relying on open-source software, to add programming tools and tie up with a company that has become a key part of the way Microsoft writes its own software. Business Insider, citing sources, reports that Microsoft is reportedly in talks to buy GitHub.

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In August, GitHub announced that it was looking for a CEO to replace Chris Wanstrath, one of the company's co-founders.

GitHub's "Octocat" mascot inside the company's San Francisco headquarters.

A combination of Microsoft and GitHub would make a lot of sense from a product and customer perspective, and it could provide stability for GitHub, which has found plans to monetize its popular products more challenging than expected and suffered a lot of turnover in its executive ranks. Talks are known to have been made in 2016 which GitHub has denied.

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