back to article This is the final straw, evil Microsoft. Making private GitHub repos free? You've gone too far

GitHub, the code storage and developer data gold mine acquired by Microsoft last year, has lowered the price it charges for private repositories from $7 per month to zero. The website planned to unveil the changes on Tuesday, though word of the looming announcement got out earlier today, and so the launch was brought forward …

  1. jake Silver badge

    That didn't take very long.

    "Asked whether Microsoft's deep pockets led to GitHub's revenue refusal"

    More because people are leaving in droves. Redmond-branded anything is bad ju-ju.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: That didn't take very long.

      Indeed, I come across so many closed accounts and missing projects on GitHub. It's a rotting carcass since Microsoft spunked money all over it.

      1. Bob Vistakin
        Facepalm

        Re: That didn't take very long.

        Correct.

        Soon the last project it manages will be Microsoft Mobile.

    2. JDX Gold badge

      Re: That didn't take very long.

      Stats please.

      This inference sounds like crap. People paying for private repos are the sort of people least likely to hate MS, to make a blanket statement. It's the demographic using GH for open-source (already free) stuff who are more likely to distrust/hate MS enough to change platform merely due to the owner.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: That didn't take very long.

        It would indeed be interesting to see actual stats. Somehow, I really doubt the owners are willing to release anything meaningful. And that in itself is a worry, from a FOSS standpoint.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: That didn't take very long.

        You don't need stats. All you need to know is that Microsoft have covered it up.

        Ever notice the old Github policy that accounts were deleted could never be recreated, to stop other, dodgy code being pushed in it's place?

        Microsoft seem to have silently revered that policy...

        My deleted Github account, the moment Microsoft got their grubby hands on it,no longer shows a missing link, it shows a repo there.

        Clearly they are hiding the stats of deleted accounts, and risking users as a result.

        1. tfb Silver badge
          Terminator

          Re: That didn't take very long.

          Would you like to give a concrete example? If account reuse is possible in general that's a famously catastrophic security problem and I'm very sure a lot of people would be extremely interested in it.

        2. Paul

          Re: That didn't take very long.

          If this is the case, it needs to be well publicised, to tell people not to close their accounts and entirely delete their repos, but instead simply leave them empty and idle with a new README that redirects people to the new location.

        3. tfb Silver badge

          Re: That didn't take very long.

          Hmm: so, no concrete examples then. Could you perhaps be making stuff up?

        4. dajames Silver badge
          Headmaster

          Re: That didn't take very long.

          Microsoft seem to have silently revered that policy...

          I take it that "revered" was a typo for "reversed" ... the resultant inversion of meaning is delicious!

    3. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Meh

      Re: That didn't take very long.

      well, I still have stuff on github 'for now'. I'm in "wait and see" mode as long as none of the existing services are broken (read: require installing some 'microshaft thing' or enabling intarweb slurp).

      So far github "experience" isn't really any different. So far.

      And private repos 'for free' isn't a bad thing either. but having a "pro" level makes sense, kinda, as that's how they seem to have handled MSDN subscriptions lately. Freebie tools to hook ya, but if you're serious, you pay up. Except there are fewer reasons to do MSDN these days...

  2. Cronus

    As ever

    If you're not paying for the product, you are the product.

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: As ever

      Not having used Github in a long tine, I was wondering about "the product". I guess they sell ads for "proper placement" now?

    2. Sandtitz Silver badge
      WTF?

      Re: As ever

      "If you're not paying for the product, you are the product."

      As in Linux, GPL, GitLab?

      Highly illogical, captain.

      1. Adrian 4 Silver badge

        Re: As ever

        You pay for open source products by contributing to them.

        Unless, of course, you don't. In which case I guess you are indeed the product.

        1. Sandtitz Silver badge
          WTF?

          Re: As ever

          "You pay for open source products by contributing to them. Unless, of course, you don't. In which case I guess you are indeed the product."

          What is this, the Bizarro World??

          I contribute zilch, nada, zip to Linux or the various FOSS software I use. I am not the product, those software products are products. How is that not obvious to you and your upvoters?

          1. Hans 1 Silver badge
            Thumb Up

            Re: As ever

            @Sandlitz

            Upvoted, but you should really give back, you probably already do without knowing, when you help people out on the forums ... that is also a way to give back!

            1. Valeyard

              Re: As ever

              yeah, my humble way of giving back is just to log every bug or crash i find after investigating solid recreation steps instead of moaning and restarting. I've found some good ones, makes me warm inside to know that my tiny contributions help something

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: As ever

            I contribute zilch, nada, zip to Linux or the various FOSS software I use. I am not the product

            In the good old days you were the Beta tester, not so much now as it's much more stable. But, oh, back in those early RedHat boxed distributions of the late 90s/early 2000s boy were you ever testing if that shit even installed. It's (thankfully) come a long way whereby it's now my de-facto OS for testing new hardware builds.

            I'd argue that for FOSS applications you often "pay for it" with the lack of support/patching/maintenance depending on the app, then Adobe went and proved they could do that better.

        2. JDX Gold badge

          Re: As ever

          99% of Linux users never write any code for it (made up stat).

          There are a lot of brainwashed sheeple here regurgitating memes. ALL the major commercial Git (and other) VCS providers provide free tiers, though some only do it for FOSS... do you think they do that out of some altruistic duty or that FOSS repos don't consume resources like private repos do? The majority of cloudy software have free tiers for 1-5 users, etc.

          They do this to get brand awareness and so that when developers are in a position to need paid services, they'll go with who they know/like.

          It's not a million miles away from the shareware paradigm. Even MS have been doing free versions of VS for years and years and these are all GOOD for FOSS and GOOD for helping kids get into coding.

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: As ever

            Yeah, but JDX, that doesn't alter the fact that MS tends to destroy everything it touches. We've all seen it over and over again, decade after decade. "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice ...". Why apologize for a company which you know gives you hives on a regular basis, but otherwise doesn't give a flying fuck about you, yourself, personally?

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              "MS tends to destroy everything it touches"

              Not everything. A lot, but not everything...

              1. bombastic bob Silver badge
                Unhappy

                Re: "MS tends to destroy everything it touches"

                was NOT always this way, yeah. Through Windows XP, and notably a resurgence of quality in 7, they were acceptable, even good. it all started with the ".Net" initiative during the dot-bomb bubble of the early noughties...

            2. yosemite

              Re: As ever

              I think you're confusing the Bill Gates/Steve Bulmer Microsoft with the Satya Nadella Microsoft of today. They truly are different beasts and on the whole a much, much better company.

              1. cat_mara
                Pint

                Re: As ever

                Steve Bulmer? Shurely shome mishtake?

                (Now imagining ads for Ballmer's Cider: makes you run about like a madman, terrible hangover...)

              2. bombastic bob Silver badge
                WTF?

                Re: As ever

                "They truly are different beasts and on the whole a much, much better company."

                you mean better NOW as opposed to THEN? Better NOW??? W.T.F. ???

                I do not think that means what you think it means...

                Microsoft was at its peak around XP release time. This may explain why XP went for so long without any major changes [just service packs]. It screwed the pooch completely when they started messing with something that worked just fine as it was [just needed patching and updates fo keep up with hardware tech].

                I think they should've just kept XP...

                1. Glen 1 Bronze badge

                  Re: As ever

                  "you mean better NOW as opposed to THEN? Better NOW??? W.T.F. ???"

                  Yes as in:

                  Then - "Linux is a cancer"

                  Now - https://opensource.microsoft.com/, Windows Subsystem for Linux, contributions to the kernel, etc

                  There is LOADS more, but I got bored of typing

            3. overunder

              Re: As ever

              "Why apologize for a company which you know gives you hives on a regular basis, but otherwise doesn't give a flying fuck about you, yourself,"

              The obvious reason, holding shares of Microsoft. Want me to tell you how great a certain pharma company is regardless of the truth?

              Probability is a real thing, so MS will probably destroy it. That is the positive view, the negative view requires even the most profane person to use ****'s. Like so many things in life, a magic 8ball will give the correct answer.

          2. Stevie Silver badge

            Re: As ever (4 JDX)

            FS:DRF*

            * - Found "Sheeple": Didn't Read Further.

        3. tfb Silver badge

          Re: As ever

          You pay for open source products by contributing to them.

          If that was true, such products would only ever be useful to their developers.

      2. Synkronicity

        Re: As ever

        Who are the owners of Linux, GPL, and GitLab and what are their goals?

        Now who owns GitHub and, together with LinkedIn, has exclusive access to a mother-lode of enterprise data and a history of abusing their market power?

        1. Sandtitz Silver badge

          Re: As ever @Synkronicity

          "Who are the owners of Linux, GPL, and GitLab and what are their goals? Now who owns GitHub and, together with LinkedIn, has exclusive access to a mother-lode of enterprise data and a history of abusing their market power?"

          Easy there cowboy.

          I was commenting on Cronus's comment: 'If you're not paying for the product, you are the product.' You seem to be reading something between the lines that just isn't there. If you feel my observation about being a product was wrong, just expose the falsity of it in your next reply.

          By the way: GitLab Inc. is a multi-million dollar commercial entity, not just a lemonade stand. Their aim is to IPO in 2 years and get a $100M annual revenue before that to happen. Surprised?

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        2. JLV Silver badge

          Re: As ever

          Thats certainly one way to view it. Another is the POV of running a stack with a dev name recognition really only equal to Stackoverflow (Joel Spolsky is a Net-stack guy btw). Costing little to run and with huge amount of potential goodwill.

          Had I just paid (overpriced IMHO) 7.5B$, again IMHO, I wouldn't be sweating the limited free account stuff. OR effin up people with privacy grabs/fails. Bigger picture is running free and charging next tier/cornering a market/making MS cool again/shaping dialog around “a huge chunk of tech online interest”. Not that I am huge MS fan. Im not. But a mostly benign/hands off strategy seems best at this time.

          signed: Mr. Naive

        3. LDS Silver badge
          Joke

          Who are the owners of Linux

          IBM?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Who are the owners of Linux

            SCO? (muahahahaha)

            1. The Central Scrutinizer

              Re: Who are the owners of Linux

              I though SCO claimed to own UNIX. The whole lawsuit thing. Oh yeah, maybe by extension. Anyway have an upvote for the laugh.

              1. bombastic bob Silver badge
                Unhappy

                Re: Who are the owners of Linux

                SCO actually claimed ownership over Linux as well, since there was apparently some contributed code from BSD's and possibly even UNIX (going WAY back). That was, as i understand it, *sanitized* some time ago to prevent SCO from making any such claims, even though they *BULLIED* a few deep pockets into paying them...

        4. overunder

          Re: As ever

          "Who are the owners of Linux, GPL, and GitLab and what are their goals?"

          WTF? GitLab owns GitLab. GPL is owned by $insertLanguage, and Linux is owned by... me.

          BTW, I forgot LinkedIn existed, so thanks for reminding me, I guess.

      3. Teiwaz Silver badge

        Re: As ever

        "If you're not paying the owner of the product for the product, you are the product."

        Is probably more correct.

        1. bazza Silver badge

          Re: As ever

          "If you're not paying the owner of the product for the product, you are the product."

          Er, in this specific case you can pay for GitHub, as an Enterprise or Pro user. That makes this repricing of GitHub nothing more than a simple marketing exercise, to encourage future customers. Nothing particularly evil there AFAICS.

          It's certainly very different to the change in WhatsApp price to zero when Facebook took over. It's looking increasingly like they're going to try and convert users of that into product. Facebook recently refused to guarantee that end to end encryption will be kept ad infinitum.

      4. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        Re: As ever

        "If you're not paying for the product, you are the product."

        As in Linux, GPL, GitLab?

        No, as in GitHub was touting metrics about members to potential employers long before it was bought by Microsoft. GitHub was bought as much with a view to merging it with LinkedIn as it was for any Visual Studio or Azure tie-ins.

    3. SolidSquid

      Re: As ever

      In this case I suspect it's being used as a loss leader. Owning github and being able to provide better integration with their own tools than any other will encourage people to use their tools, which are the big money makers. So in a sense you're the product, but you're being sold to another department of the same company

      1. phuzz Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: As ever

        Careful now, you're sounding remarkably sensible.

        Don't you know his is a story involving Microsoft and Open Source, the only comments you should be making should be hyperbolic and screeching.

        At least add in some ALL CAPS shouting to make it fit in.

    4. Andy Mac

      Re: As ever

      If you're not paying for the product, you are the product.

      If you are paying for the product, then you’re an additional revenue stream.

  3. This post has been deleted by its author

  4. SVV Silver badge

    Free! For up to three collaborators!

    So not very a big deal for anything serious then.

    The Windows 10 bug fixing team will save $7 per month on their budget though.

    1. Nick Kew Silver badge

      Re: Free! For up to three collaborators!

      So that'll do nicely for experimenting with a prospective project. Zero entry cost, and if it shows signs of growth you cross that bridge when you come to it with all options available.

    2. LucreLout Silver badge

      Re: Free! For up to three collaborators!

      So not very a big deal for anything serious then.

      Most.... ok, factually, ALL of my personal research projects have one contributor. Me. Github was a nice place to keep them when I had student access a few years back, but now its free again, I'm importing all the projects I just exported from it back there again.

      In the very unlikely event that one of my projects becomes useful FOSS, which is not the intent of any of the work, then I can upgrade my plan to the $7 one later.

      Thanks Microsoft. I appreciate the freeness as it will work for me personally.

      1. ibmalone Silver badge

        Re: Free! For up to three collaborators!

        In the very unlikely event that one of my projects becomes useful FOSS, which is not the intent of any of the work, then I can upgrade my plan to the $7 one later.

        If your project becomes FOSS you'd make it a public repo surely? At which point you get unlimited collaborators for free (public doesn't mean world writeable, you still have to authorise collaborators for your repo, though anyone can fork their own copy).

        1. LucreLout Silver badge

          Re: Free! For up to three collaborators!

          If your project becomes FOSS you'd make it a public repo surely?

          ROFL. Yes, yes I would.

          I suppose in theory there could be a transition period for peer review on the $7 plan, but yes, you are quite right, the point of FOSS would be public code.

      2. JohnFen Silver badge

        Re: Free! For up to three collaborators!

        If you're the only contributor, why are you bothering with GitHub's private repositories at all? I don't see what value that brings over just using git locally.

        1. ibmalone Silver badge

          Re: Free! For up to three collaborators!

          If you're the only contributor, why are you bothering with GitHub's private repositories at all? I don't see what value that brings over just using git locally.

          Can access anywhere, don't have to worry about messing up your local copy of the repository (you can back it up of course, but a service like github does this nicely through git's push/pull commands), particularly if it was for something like student work where you might do some work from a machine in class (which may well be some kind of windows with network drive thing) and more from your own computer, but nice tools for branch management and issues are probably the biggest reason. There are GUI git tools as an alternative of course, but actually the ability to have multiple tabs open to check different parts of a repository at once can be useful (and of course is cross-platform).

        2. bombastic bob Silver badge
          Devil

          Re: Free! For up to three collaborators!

          the value of a private repo "in the cloud", with a development staff of "one", is the "cloud storage" part, assuming that their IT is good and does regular backups and whatnot...

        3. richardcox13

          Re: Free! For up to three collaborators!

          > I don't see what value that brings over just using git locally.

          Backup.

          And the issue tracking can be useful to track of plans

          1. JohnFen Silver badge

            Re: Free! For up to three collaborators!

            I use git locally and have both backups and issue tracking.

            1. jake Silver badge

              Re: Free! For up to three collaborators!

              I don't use git (or so-called "cloud"), but my systems are distributed. I have backups, issue tracking and various other bits and bobs. Haven't lost anything yet. Maintenance is on the order of minutes per year.

              1. LucreLout Silver badge

                Re: Free! For up to three collaborators!

                I don't use git (or so-called "cloud"), but my systems are distributed. I have backups, issue tracking and various other bits and bobs. Haven't lost anything yet. Maintenance is on the order of minutes per year.

                Evidently Sir, my laziness is superior to your own. I could set all that up, but github pretty much means I don't have to bother. Setting it up would likely not be minutes for me as I'd want to research possible ways to achieve it and experiment to find best solutions.

                Free GitHub leaves security as my only potential concern, but as I value the IP of my research projects at zero, I'm not overly concerned.

        4. LucreLout Silver badge

          Re: Free! For up to three collaborators!

          If you're the only contributor, why are you bothering with GitHub's private repositories at all? I don't see what value that brings over just using git locally.

          Sync across devices (Laptop at home, notebook on the train, and desktop at work that I might use at lunch). Also off device backups.

    3. tfb Silver badge

      Re: Free! For up to three collaborators!

      I use GH private repos for what I suspect a fairly large number of people use them for: propagating a repo between two places which can't otherwise see each other and where the contents of that repo is not public. One collaborator is enough for me!

    4. JDX Gold badge

      Re: Free! For up to three collaborators!

      Um, apart from all the 1-man bands creating software for their little business ideas or just for fun. I have an old bitbucket account that did this when I was writing games for fun - I wanted it private.

      Lots and lots and LOTS of big name companies started out as 3 guys coding in their basements.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Free! For up to three collaborators!

        "Lots and lots and LOTS of big name companies started out as 3 guys coding in their basements."

        With a single server sitting in the corner, running one version or another of a source code control system. The ones that actually became "big name" understood the concept of "off-site backup"; one of they three took a floppy home each eveningmorning.

        Seriously, when did taking control of your own shit become out of fashion?

        1. tfb Silver badge

          Re: Free! For up to three collaborators!

          That model works if the three people share a basement. If they have their own basements then they need a mechanism for propagating changes between the basements, as well as an anointed & backed up repo. GitHub is a suitable mechanism for propagarion. Using it for propagation of changes is not giving up control unless it is also the anointed, backed-up repo (which, OK, often it is, but that's a different thing).

          1. JohnFen Silver badge

            Re: Free! For up to three collaborators!

            " If they have their own basements then they need a mechanism for propagating changes between the basements, as well as an anointed & backed up repo."

            Yes, but those are very easy problems to solve.

        2. Kristian Walsh Silver badge

          Re: Free! For up to three collaborators!

          If you think taking physical media to people's houses is an acceptable form of backup, you've been very, very lucky to date.

          I don't run my own generator, because even though my job requires electricity, it's much cheaper to pay someone else for the electricity they generate in bulk.

          Similarly, I could find someone to "mind" a disk for me, but how is that really better than putting it in a remote data center that has a full-time staff that will look after it.

          Guess what: I didn't write my own compiler either. I probably could, but it was actually better to pay a company that had made really good ones instead so that I could use theirs, and they'll fix any problems with it, and I can get on with doing my work...

          Seriously, when did taking control of your own shit become out of fashion?

          Well that's the same kind of question. Personally, I let the city's sewage system take care of my shit. What do you do with yours? Kilner jars? (Do not try to tell me you made your own septic tank...)

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: Free! For up to three collaborators!

            WOW! You sure invented a lot of stuff that I didn't say ... and then replied to it. There's probably a word for that ...

            (Yes, I made my own septic systems. Kind of mandatory when you live in a place without a public sewer to tie into. It's not exactly rocket surgery.)

          2. doublelayer Silver badge

            Re: Free! For up to three collaborators!

            "If you think taking physical media to people's houses is an acceptable form of backup, you've been very, very lucky to date."

            The implication being that this is not reliable? Media in multiple locations prevents things from being damaged should there be a situation where the site and everything in it is damaged in some way such as fire or flood. You could be more protective of the data by having multiple disks to deal with mechanical failure, too. If you're doing it properly, why is this not a viable way to backup data in that way?

            "I don't run my own generator, because even though my job requires electricity, it's much cheaper to pay someone else for the electricity they generate in bulk."

            But I'm sure you or someone in your institution runs a system for backup power if the systems that get power are important enough. You could theoretically hire someone to have a bunch of generators and bring one to you, but having one there and knowing how to work it provides a lot of benefits.

            "Similarly, I could find someone to "mind" a disk for me, but how is that really better than putting it in a remote data center that has a full-time staff that will look after it."

            In many ways, it is not. For every option, you hae to look at the benefits but also the costs. For the datacenter, they include:

            Benefits:

            1. Someone is there to manage it, so it's unlikely to go offline.

            2. They have good physical security, so it is unlikely that someone would break in and steal your data by taking the drive.

            3. They manage a lot of data, so it is unlikely to be corrupted or lost by accident.

            4. The datacenter is probably a long distance from where you are, meaning that you have more geographic stability.

            Costs:

            1. You may have to pay for its storage, depending on who is storing the data. If you're just putting your drives in someone else's house, you probably don't have to do that.

            2. If some disaster does happen and the data doesn't come back online, you don't know where that data is, whereas you could locate and retrieve a backup you made yourself.

            3. Various people you don't know may have access to the data because they run the system that stores it.

            4. You don't know everything about the system, so it is possible that someone could break in using a vulnerability and steal it.

            5. If something happens to the datacenter, you don't know if that system had backups anywhere. Depending on how their system works, your data may still have a single location even if it's spread across multiple physical devices in that location.

            When you decide how you're going to store your data, you have to consider both sides of this coin. If you don't, you end up jumping to conclusions about what is better without having the required information to support the assertion. Both are viable options, and which to use depends on how the above points apply and how important each is in the particular situation.

            1. JohnFen Silver badge

              Re: Free! For up to three collaborators!

              "But I'm sure you or someone in your institution runs a system for backup power if the systems that get power are important enough."

              I do this at home -- I don't want a power outage to take my servers down!

        3. LucreLout Silver badge
          Joke

          Re: Free! For up to three collaborators!

          With a single server sitting in the corner, running one version or another of a source code control system. The ones that actually became "big name" understood the concept of "off-site backup"; one of they three took a floppy home each eveningmorning.

          Seriously, when did taking control of your own shit become out of fashion?

          When some asshole took away the floppy drive ;-)

  5. Helena Handcart

    Sod GitLab

    Go with gitea. It's fast, responsive, supports LFS, has bug tracking, a wiki, and webhooks. I was on GitLab until an upgrade would have forced me to use the $40 a month DO droplet just to host it! Gitea can be run on the $10 tier with room to spare.

    Also, I hate Ruby with a passion, but that's just me.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Sod GitLab

      Very pleased with bitbucket, the free tier is great, and the other pay tiers are at sensible levels. If you want onsite, they do that too (bitbucket server)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Sod GitLab

        I thought Jira had the new year resolution to be more stable, it's apparently not working ...

        I received that message on Jan 2nd, so much for Atlassian ... a work in progress ...

  6. SNAFUology
    Windows

    DOH

    but remember the T&C {EULA} for Microsoft Windows 10 says No WORKAROUNDS - guess some of you will have to use github then - and once they've got you they will suck on your brain (er, oh that's Futurama) but they will anyway.

    noted above Free for up to 3 contributors only.

  7. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

    Making private GitHub repos public?

    For some reason my brain parsed the headline thus.

  8. wolfetone Silver badge

    GitLab is still the premier choice though. Not only is it free for unlimited collaborators and projects/repos, you have the option to install it on your own servers.

    Taking back control of your code, Make code repos great again etc.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Still owned by a VC though, which means at some point the free lunch will end.

      Personally, I'm happy with BitBucket. It's not perfect but it's flexible and continues to be developed: Pipelines are particularly interesting.

  9. brucedenney

    Industrial espionage?

    What is to stop someone who owns one of these systems from searching for innovative code, be it private or public and then using it?

    How trustworthy are the people behind these sorts of products?

    FREE would just make me leave faster.

    1. tfb Silver badge

      Re: Industrial espionage?

      If they ever get caught doing that then their business collapses, and they likely get sued. So they probably don't do it. Much more lokely is that they get broken into and all the private repos stolen.

      1. JDX Gold badge

        Re: Industrial espionage?

        How are you going to find the innovative code when 99.9% of what's on there is just dross?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Industrial espionage?

        Google was reading people's emails, analyzes your images and it didn't collapse... usually the T&C are strong enough to keep them safe - as most people don't read them before approving.

        1. Joeyjoejojrshabado

          Re: Industrial espionage?

          But Google (ostensibly) uses those powers for the evil of targeted advertising, which is a whole different kettle of fish from industrial espionage / IP theft, which could not be excepted in Ts&Cs as it's illegal and hugely compensatory.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Industrial espionage?

            Could you be sure Google used that power for ads only?

            And there's been lately reports about Google stealing IPs after interviewing people and had them talk about their ideas.

            Evidently you can't put IP theft in a T&C - but once people allow you to read their emails, you got a big, bit power... that's true for MS as well - it can't steal your GitHub, but it can see what's people doing.

        2. tfb Silver badge

          Re: Industrial espionage?

          Google is not stealing your copyrighted code: it's inferring things based on your behaviour, which is different. GitHub, I assume, are doing that already.

          1. JohnFen Silver badge

            Re: Industrial espionage?

            Google is stealing data about me, my online activities, my use of credit/debit/affinity cards in the real world, and my physical location (including my movements inside a single store for many of those stores that spy on their customers using WiFi/Bluetooth beacons). It's not a great leap to assume that if they're OK with doing that, they're OK with stealing everything else they can get their grubby paws on as well.

    2. devTrail

      Re: Industrial espionage?

      Industrial espionage can be even more than inspecting the code. If someone logins at the same time on LinkedIn and Azure or Github Microsoft has now the ability to identify the user by cross checking the IPs. Microsof can now make a list of those who work for a particular company and rank their importance within the company judging by the number of deployments and commits.

      Imagine selling the information to a competitor who might start to poach the company employees targeting the right ones.

    3. JohnFen Silver badge

      Re: Industrial espionage?

      Seriously, if your code is that sensitive then you don't want it on any machine you don't control, be it GitHub or anywhere else.

  10. Robin

    Skype is also 'Free'

    Skype is also 'free', but they still managed to screw it up.

    Wait until they start the whole 'GitHub for Business' thing.

    1. IneptAdept

      Re: Skype is also 'Free'

      They already do, this is the reason they can give private repos away for free

      Some people just love to hate

      1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        Re: Skype is also 'Free'

        They already do, this is the reason they can give private repos away for free

        I don't think you've done the numbers: it's highly unlikely that the revenue from the paid services is sufficient to pay for the free stuff. If that were the case then the VC's who owned GitHub could just have stuck with the cashflow. This is more like portfolio adjustment to match the competition: GitLab and BitBucket provide private repos for free.

  11. LeeEnglestone
    Thumb Up

    Please don't get rid of Visual Studio Repos

    That's great. I've been using the free VisualStudio online git repos for years and must have over 50+ of them.

    So long as they continue to work, they don't get closed down/migrated etc i'm happy.

  12. DropBear Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Not impressed

    I would be easier to convince that "look MS isn't so evil after all" if they didn't suddenly start to remind me on every single visit that my Firefox 52 ESR is apparently far too old to be usable with Github anymore. Really...? For browsing a tree of text files?!?

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Re: Not impressed

      You think things move so fast that MS has infiltrated its developers into GitHub?

      Does it work with Chrome? Then you're just paranoid.

      1. IneptAdept

        Re: Not impressed

        Of courser JDX because why wouldnt they try and kill it off for firefox....

        Stupid people everywhere :(

    2. Killfalcon Bronze badge

      Re: Not impressed

      Isn't Firefox 52 ESR out of support with Mozilla? I thought (and correct me if I'm wrong) they dropped that back in August last year.

      I think you may have run into Microsoft's other hobby: trying to get people to keep their browsers on the latest versions for security reasons. Somewhere along the line, MS worked out that they get a lot of flack for all the virii in their ecosystem, so they've sunk resources into fighting that from as many angles as they can.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Not impressed

        "virii" is properly pronounced "viruses".

        See the FAQ, section F, question 3.

        1. Killfalcon Bronze badge
          Headmaster

          Re: Not impressed

          I don't care how you pronounce it, it's how I wrote it. ;)

          (I didn't actually know that there was an official rule on that, I just went along with the biologists. Thanks for the link, though, I always like to see stuff like that)

          1. DavCrav Silver badge

            Re: Not impressed

            "I just went along with the biologists."

            I believe biologists write 'viruses' as well. 'Viri' would be the Latin plural anyway, not 'virii'. If you are thinking about 'radii', that's the plural of 'radius', not 'radus'. And even more pedantically, the Latin virus, meaning slimy liquid, doesn't have a plural.

            1. dajames Silver badge
              Headmaster

              Re: Not impressed

              'Viri' would be the Latin plural anyway, not 'virii'.

              The Latin word Virus is neuter, so it's plural would be expected to be vira

              And even more pedantically, the Latin virus, meaning slimy liquid, doesn't have a plural.

              That's right, the word virus is uncommon in Latin, being found in only a few texts, and only in the singular form. Cicero used it, incidentally, to mean "venom", which is probably where the current use in biology and IT originated.

              When writing in English "viruses" is the least controversial option.

              1. DavCrav Silver badge

                Re: Not impressed

                "The Latin word Virus is neuter, so it's plural would be expected to be vira"

                Indeed, viri would mean men rather than slimy liquids, where we get the word virile from.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Not impressed

      Your beef is with Mozilla, who promised to support ESR (for security, not HTML standards, updates), not Github. Besides, the latest ESR is 60.4, with 60 having superceded the 52 branch in June 2018. There have been major changes in frontend standards like HTML 5, CSS and ES since 52's initial release in 2016, so it shouldn't be surprising that a two year old browser release might struggle with a site that consciously tries to stay on the cutting edge. The days of being able to stick to the same browser feature set for more than a year, let alone two, are over. If you're an IT shop, using ESR nowadays is only going to give you six months of breathing space at best until you have to start ramping up to push a new version to your peeps. If you look at the minor updates in between you'll see the interval is actually much shorter.

      1. doublelayer Silver badge

        Re: Not impressed

        That message has been there for long before Microsoft gained control. I know this as I had a system that was locked down, needed to use github sometimes, and only had Internet Explorer on it. That message appeared every time. Complain about the message all you like, but know that Microsoft isn't responsible for it.

      2. JohnFen Silver badge

        Re: Not impressed

        "The days of being able to stick to the same browser feature set for more than a year, let alone two, are over."

        They are? Could have fooled me!

  13. Czrly

    Mixed Feelings about this

    I already invested the time to build my own home server running Gentoo and GitLab for my personal projects and those of my wife and brother -- both coders. I don't really care that someone will "steal my cool stuff" but having my own dabblings open to all, on the web, was never appealing because a lot of that code was hacked together with extremely limited time, late at night, after a dram or two and, frankly, I don't want that stuff to be the first impression of my work that is seen by a potential employer. The perennial instability of GitLab.com -- a service that always offered free, private repositories, anyway -- drove me away and so I rolled my own server. That server has now been running for over a year with very little maintenance and I have grown to love the GitLab U.I. -- so much so that I find GitHub to be rather lean in features. (Where's the repo. graph, for example?)

    I will immediately proceed to GitHub to mark as private all my very-old stuff that remains there from before I set up my own server. Immediately, that stuff is going to vanish from view. For me, that's a good thing. For everyone who took inspiration from it (some of the projects have been starred several times), I apologise for their loss but prioritising their convenience above my own concerns is simply not a dominant strategy.

    When I write StackOverflow answers, for example, I am fully aware that they will be visible to the public. I have also submitted merge requests to open source projects under my real name and, obviously, I expect that that code will stand as a portfolio of my work. My toys and crazy experiments, however, are not of the same quality.

    A lot of unlicensed but visible code is going to vanish, now. It is questionable whether someone could legally use that code but I know I have and I'm sure I am not alone. For just one example, I've sometimes searched for obscure function or class names on GitHub and used the search results to discover "undocumented features" and how to work around them.

    The result of this move will be that the ethos and community of GitHub will change. It could change for the better. Perhaps this will remove a lot of the noise from the GitHub scene. Personally, though, I'll stick to using my little Gentoo box.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They'll be a catch or an angle somewhere.

  15. Zippy´s Sausage Factory
    Black Helicopters

    This is a move to tempt Atlassian customers away, obviously. Those that aren't already twitchy about the new "we can make your devs put security holes in your software and not tell you" law in Australia already...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Maybe bad news for Atlassian, although I wonder if people won't see this as an opportunity to keep _two_ copies of their private stuff in the cloud for redundancy. The cost savings might prompt some more comparison of the offered tooling.

  16. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Craig 2
      Joke

      All of the above :p

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      re: Am I the product or the Idiot?

      Both?

      {ducks to avoid incoming missiles/downvotes}

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Yes, you are product but not sn idiot. You'd have to be running Apple gear for that.

    4. jake Silver badge
  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Three E strategy

    Embrace. Extend. Extinguish.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Kathy Simpson, senior director of product at GitHub

    We are really excited

    in their journey

    very much in alignment with this mission

    (sound of throwing up..)

    (more sounds of throwing up)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Kathy Simpson, senior director of product at GitHub

      At least they weren't "super excited"!

      There's something about the hyperbowl [sic] in that garbled phrase that *particularly* annoys me.

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: Kathy Simpson, senior director of product at GitHub

        I think 'Ralph' lives down at the bottom o the 'hyperbowl' and drives a 'Buick', and has a son named 'Barpholomew'.

  19. Paul 195

    If Microsoft cured cancer and ended poverty, there would be hordes of people ready to explain how it was another evil scheme. They are no worse than most other large capitalist enterprises, and better than some.

    1. jake Silver badge

      Paul 195

      There is a fundamental flaw with your theory. Can you spot it?

    2. JJKing Bronze badge
      WTF?

      EULA word numbers......

      But most people with cancer and in poverty would likely die before that could finish reading the EULA. What's Winshit 10, 45 pages of A4 (yeah, not American) of text? Imagine how long something really important would be.

      I was installing Nero 16 I think and the EULA had to be read 4 lines at a time.....just 4. SO, I copied it into a word document and it was 8,696 words and 1,092 lines. (Oh yes, 22 pages) I was supposed to read those 1,092 lines, 4 lines at a time. Gives you an idea that they are hiding something in there.

      1. yosemite

        Re: EULA word numbers......

        You think MS is the only company spitting out overly long EULAs? Ha ha ha ha!

    3. JohnFen Silver badge

      "They are no worse than most other large capitalist enterprises, and better than some."

      Talk about damning with faint praise!

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      If MS cured cancer and ended poverty I would be willing to forgive them for it being an evil scheme. IF. IF. IF. IF. IF. Unfortunately, they havent. YET. I heard they're trying hard. Not.

  20. RyokuMas Silver badge
    Boffin

    Precedent has been set...

    A few years ago, Unity - and many other game engines - dropped their licence fees and became free, albeit with a number of limitations: in Unity's case, once your game reached a certain revenue, or if you wanted to remove the "made with Unity" splash screen, you had to pay.

    Although this led to a huge flooding of the "indie" game dev markets, from a commercial point of view, it was a win for the game engines - those who were once put off by the price could now develop their games for free, while the engines got both a huge publicity boost and the revenue from those who wanted to buy advanced features or exceeded the revenue thresholds.

    This feels like a comparable move by Microsoft: anyone can have a private repo, so those who - for whatever reason - want or need to keep their code private can now use Github, while the three-collaborator limit means that the projects that become successful and grow to the point where they require a bigger team will generate revenue.

    1. yosemite
      Alert

      Re: Precedent has been set...

      Oooh! A sensible assessment of the article? How very dare you. Microsoft are evil, evil, evil and I won't hear otherwise!

      1. JohnFen Silver badge

        Re: Precedent has been set...

        "Microsoft are evil"

        I agree!

  21. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
    Pint

    Free Unlimited On-Line File Storage ?

    I'll rename my wife's dozens and dozens of TB of snapshots from JPG to BIN (or whatever, as required) and upload them all.

    1. Hans 1 Silver badge
      Windows

      Re: Free Unlimited On-Line File Storage ?

      why go through the hassle of renaming ... just add a generic jsp page with code to generate a multipage photoviewer thingy to display the images ... nobody can refute it is your "web app" to view the photos in question ...

  22. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Meh

    Hmmm,

    I'll be keeping a close watch, but don't think it will be an issue for the small project I work with. It's public and GPL V2 or later.

    It's also mirrored on sourceforge to give a small degree of insurance.

  23. devTrail

    Is it a matter for the anti-trust?

    Isn't dumping considered a monopolistic behaviour?

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    e2e encrypted git

    Just an aside: if you're concerned about privacy, Keybase offers free e2e encrypted Git. This is more suitable for personal config/data since there's no web UI for pull requests and other fancy stuff, but still a perfect fit for some.

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