Microsoft Acquires GitHub and Other Big Company and Open Source Thoughts

Microsoft Acquires GitHub and Other Big Company and Open Source Thoughts

Microsoft acquiring GitHub, the repository of many open source projects, on the surface appears almost as an oxymoron. However, as I’ve written previously about big companies and OPC UA standard big companies now find open source and interoperability to be sound business decisions rather than threatening to their proprietary hold on technology.

OPC and Standards

Two years ago in my Podcast Gary on Manufacturing 149 also found on YouTube, I asked the question why major suppliers of automation technology for manufacturing/production hated OPC UA—an industry information model standard. That is by far the most viewed YouTube podcast I’ve ever done. I followed up with Gary on Manufacturing 175 and YouTube to update the situation to current situation.

It is still getting comments, some two years later. Some guy (probably works for a big company?) even dissed me about it.

However, the industry witnessed an almost tectonic shift in the approach of these automation suppliers toward standards. First Siemens went all in on OPC UA. Then last November and following Rockwell Automation has had several deep discussions with me about the adoption of OPC UA.

Why? Users demand more interoperability. And using standards is the easiest way forward for interoperability. Suppliers have discovered that standards allow them to continue to push development of their “black boxes” of technology while allowing themselves and their customers to assemble systems of technology.

Microsoft News

In my favorite news site, Axios, Ina Fried writes:

Microsoft announced this morning it is acquiring GitHub, the social network for coders as well as home to millions of different software projects, for $7.5 billion.

“The era of the intelligent cloud and intelligent edge is upon us. Computing is becoming embedded in the world, with every part of our daily life and work and every aspect of our society and economy being transformed by digital technology. Developers are the builders of this new era, writing the world’s code. And GitHub is their home.”
— Satya Nadellla, CEO, Microsoft

Why it matters: This would further highlight the complete turnaround the company has already made in its stance toward source software.

Behind the scenes: While former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer once called Linux a cancer, the company has steadily warmed to open source, with Nadella embracing it with open arms.

GitHub plays into that strategy as it’s used by developers of all stripes to store their code projects. The San Francisco-based company was founded in 2008 and is now home to 80 million software repositories. The company has been searching for a new CEO since last year.

Why it matters: Playing host to the world’s code doesn’t necessarily make Microsoft a more central player, but it could tightly integrate GitHub into its developer tools. Microsoft decided last year to shut down its own CodePlex software repository, bowing to GitHub’s popularity.

What about Windows? Though certainly a fan of its homegrown operating system, Microsoft’s main goal these days is to be in tight with developers and get them writing code that can live in its Azure cloud.

Microsoft even dropped the Windows name from Azure, reflecting the fact you don’t have to use Windows to work with Azure.

History lesson: Microsoft’s shift to embrace Linux is somewhat reminiscent of the earlier move IBM made to do so. Both companies are now seen as the mature veterans of the enterprise market, more interested in meeting corporate computing needs than pushing homegrown architectures.

This information was also posted on the Microsoft Blog.

Other Open Source Information

My other travels and interviews have yielded other companies who have invested heavily in open source.

Within the last two years I have had a few conversations with Microsoft about their open source code donations. While I am a little surprised at acquiring GitHub, perhaps this will lend financial stability to the platform (although we do have to note that large company investments do not always insure financial stability.

Dell Technologies and Hewlett Packard Enterprise, two companies I have more recently studied are both proud to be contributors to open source. A couple of years ago considerable time at one of the keynotes at Dell World to open source projects.

I think that some of these companies are realizing that they don’t have to invent everything themselves. Being good software citizens benefits them as well as the community.

Podcast Developing the Soul of a Leader

Podcast Developing the Soul of a Leader

I’ve published another podcast. Despite the many dystopian views of technology, automation, and robots in the future, it is human decision making and leadership that determines what will happen. Gaurav Bhalla’s “Awakening a Leader’s Soul” teaches a different perspective on leadership.

You can subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Overcast, or any other podcatcher. You can also subscribe to my YouTube channel and get the video edition. If you like my thoughts, please give me a good rating on your source.

Podcast Recap of the ARC Industry Forum

Podcast Recap of the ARC Industry Forum

The recent ARC Industry Forum attracted a record attendance affording writers and analysts like me more opportunities for meetings than there was time. Themes included collaboration, new edge devices, open automation, and many cool digital products.

You can catch my podcast or watch on YouTube.

Podcast 170 – Rockwell Automation Open and Scalable

Podcast 170 – Rockwell Automation Open and Scalable

Last week was Rockwell Automation week. I have one more major manufacturer show for the year—Discover Madrid with Hewlett Packard Enterprise next week.

I recorded a quick podcast recap of the week. I have so much material to digest, that I am still working through it.

Three quick points:

1. There was no discussion of the Emerson proposed acquisition of Rockwell. [My view after a few hallway conversations-very few-is that David Farr, Emerson’s CEO, needs to do something drastic to improve his performance. Emerson has been divesting lately, and his performance is below that of his legendary predecessor. He catches Rockwell with a CEO who have been in office just a little over a year. Maybe he thought he could surprise Moret and get a steal? What if the board prefers Moret to run the combined Emerson Rockwell company? Farr as chairman and Moret as CEO? Weird but interesting thought.]

2. Rockwell’s training is rigorous and thorough. I’ve been through at least 5 classes myself (controls, PLCs, drives, motor control centers, software). I know. Interesting and moving presentation on a joint effort of Manpower and Rockwell training veterans for second careers.

3. Open and scalable. I spent an hour learning about Rockwell’s new adoption of OPC UA. Then at least 1.5 hours on Rockwell software where the key word is scalable. The new analytics application appears to be well done and powerful (I only saw a demo during the keynotes and had some conversations, but it looked good).

You can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or Overcast or you favorite pod catcher. I’d really appreciate a good rating and some referrals. It has a good audience considering the size of the market.

Podcast 169 Digital Transformation and Industry Consolidation

Podcast 169 Digital Transformation and Industry Consolidation

Here is another podcast. You can subscribe on iTunes or other podcast services. If you like them, please “like” or review on iTunes. I also record these on video and post to my YouTube channel. You can subscribe there, also.

This podcast recaps several of my recent travels.

  • Everybody talks about “digital transformation”; I wonder what it is, really
  • Dell makes a $1 Billion bet on IoT
  • GE Digital—what’s Predix and what are they really up to
  • Emerson attempt to acquire Rockwell—people wonder why it was made public now

 

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