Re: How can it possibly be worth that much?
I don't know how much money it would have been worth before MS bought it, but with the Anti-Midas in charge, it will likely be less in short order.
I wonder, we talk big about how much we dislike MS - I do as well, though not as much as some. How will this work out? General rule of thumb is that in case like this, most of the public does not share the outrage of the engaged community and the unwashed masses continue to graze contentedly.
Win 10 is not a great success, true, but then again most stores still sell PCs with it, companies run it, etc... Apple is pricey enough that Windows stays in the running and are not to everyone's taste either. Linux is still patiently waiting on its desktop year.
The sky didn't fall for Win 10 + telemetry, not even for 8. Face it, some of us care, most people don't.
But Github is different: its constituents are precisely developers, open-sources ones to boot. Technically, individuals could easily move, if they knew where to go. Companies maybe less easily, but one thing MS has achieved is giving Google a black eye for relying on Github - at least some big organizations will be motivated to fly the coop. Unlike Linkedin (or FB), Github has limited built-in network effects - the apt-get/pypy/npm/yarn/etc... type endpoint installers can be just rerouted to look elsewhere - they're their respective ecosystems network-effect bits, not the hosting providers. Many devs may take considerably less pride in having their calling cards on MS properties.
We're on Github because we choose to be, not because we have to.
If this ends up turning into a referendum on the popularity of Microsoft with developers in the late 10s, what will it tell us? What will it look like if, in 2-3 years, Github is now #2 or #3 in growth?
I am very doubtful about the upsides for MS, but a severe drop in Github influence and market share from now on would be a gigantic and very public egg in the face for MS, bought at the cost of $7.5B.