There were many expectations surrounding Microsoft’s $7.5 billion GitHub acquisition, but generosity wasn’t one of them. The platform has now announced GitHub Free, through which developers can host an unlimited number of private repositories.
It’s a significant upgrade to GitHub’s previous free offering, which only allowed public projects. This meant that any students looking to utilize the platform for personal projects would have to pay a fee.
“GitHub is ultimately a community, and the more collaboration that happens on GitHub, the better it can be for everyone,” said GitHub CEO Nat Friedman. “We often think of coding as a solitary activity, but in fact it’s the world’s largest team sport.”
Of course, generosity in business is rarely without motive. In previous scenarios, those looking to create a small private project wouldn’t pay for GitHub. Instead, they’d go to a competitor like GitLab, which offers the feature for free. Naturally, that’s not what the company wants.
On top of that, Friedman says unlimited free repos was the most requested feature of 2018. As well as creating the repositories, users will be able to invite up to three others to collaborate.
Consolidating Paid GitHub
GitHub is restructuring its paid offerings as well as its free ones. The new GitHub enterprise combines GitHub Business Cloud and Enterprise Server under one heading. Customers can pay a single per-seat price for both simplifying the process.
Meanwhile, GitHub Pro offers the same features as free but removes that three collaborator limit. It also gives access to code review tools for private and public repos. In all, it seems a fair model, and one on par with the competition.
At the same time, it continues Microsoft’s image control. It wants to promote itself as a company that cares about open source, those with accessibility issues, and the world at large.
You can find the full details of the changes on the GitHub blog.