Having followed Satya Nadella‘s strategy, I am not surprised or pessimistic about it. I think its a Win-Win.
Here are three points to understand WHY Microsoft and Github acquisition makes sense – strategically.
1. The End of Windows Ecosystem
Remember, that Microsoft has already lost the phone operating system battle (to iOS and Android) and the cloud operating system battle (to Linux). Now, they don’t even have a dedicated Windows OS devision. The company is realizing that they need to be modular (sell things across devices and OS) instead of a cohesive ecosystem (ie a full-windows tech stack).
2. The Start of Agnostic Tools
Microsoft wants to sell agnostic tools so customers can build on anyone’s platform, and while that includes Windows, it by necessity is not limited by it. For example, Office for iPad and Android etc.
3. Connect with Innovators and Creators
Github is almost always the STARTING point in the customers buying journey. If Microsoft has goodwill with these customers early on, it is likely that these small businesses will “buy” more of Microsoft’s services. The combination of the above 3 points is what makes Microsoft exciting as it has realized the day and age of “Windows Platform” has long gone and its time for “Microsoft” to favour all platforms – including Windows.