Microsoft’s decision to buy GitHub has been a blessing for rival U.S. coding platform GitLab, which has seen thousands of developers jump ship on worries that GitHub may end up favouring Microsoft products over others.
“It has been crazy in the last twenty-four hours,” GitLab CEO Sytse Sijbrandij told Reuters on Tuesday. “We are seeing thousands switching, tweeting about it.”
Microsoft is paying US$7.5 billion in an all-stock deal for GitHub as it tries to lure developers in a bid to beef up its cloud computing business and challenge market leader Amazon.com.
GitHub, which calls itself the world's largest code host with more than 28 million developers using its platform, did not respond to a request for comment.
GitLab said it has millions of developers on its platform but declined to share an exact count.
The GitLab business, founded by Ukrainian developers Sijbrandij and Dmitriy Zaporozhets in 2011, counts Alphabet’s Google Ventures, Y Combinator and Khosla Ventures among its investors.
Sijbrandij said the platform has imported over a hundred thousand code projects and has seen a seven-fold rise in orders since the Microsoft-GitHub deal unfolded.
“There is at least a 10 times increase than the usual number of people switching to GitLab," he said, adding that the firm is aiming for an IPO in 2020.
GitLab has been trying to take advantage of the deal by offering a 75 per cent discount on some subscription plans to new customers for moving to its platform.
However, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella had promised that GitHub will remain an open platform.
“I don't think this is going to cause a noticeable dip in user base for GitHub," Mark Sami, vice president at consultancy firm SPR said. “There were similar scares when Microsoft purchased Yammer, and Yammer saw a surge in increased usage post acquisition.”
(Reporting by Supantha Mukherjee and Vibhuti Sharma in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)