Gitlab goes after Github users amid Microsoft acquisition rumours

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Microsoft is the top contributor to the site, and has more than 1,000 employees actively pushing code to repositories on GitHub according to The Verge.

Now, although the rumoured acquisition is yet to be confirmed by either party, fellow web-based version control hosting service provider Gitlab appears to be ramping up its efforts to lure Github users who might not be entirely happy with Microsoft's reported acquisition of the company.

GitHub is an online code repository which was formally founded in 2008 by Chris Wanstrath and Tom Preston-Werner. Despite the company's money woes and lack of CEO, Github holds a privileged position in the development world.

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Having Microsoft buy it would mean a huge cash injection for GitHub (there's a suggested price of $5 billion), and an acquisition would give Microsoft access to a wealth of data and a huge number of developers - something of a win for both sides.

The San Francisco-based web-hosting service for software development was last valued at $2 billion as a result of a $250 million round of funding back in 2015. GitHub could not immediately be reached for comment.

GitHub is an essential tool for coders. Many engineers use the site to store their code, keep tabs on updates, and even use it as a discussion forum. While GitHub's losses have been significant - it lost $66 million over three quarters in 2016 - it had revenue of $98 million in nine months of that year. If Microsoft has shown anything over the last few years since CEO Satya Nadella took control, it's shown a commitment to meeting developers where they are, rather than forcing them onto Microsoft owned-and-controlled technologies. The company joined the Open Source Initiative as a full member late past year and has also open-sourced various components of Windows itself, alongside many other gestures of goodwill.

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