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Microsoft is the most important company in the open-source ecosystem

  • 2 minutes reading time

This was a sidenote for another note I’ve been thinking about, but I think it deserves its own post. Today (mid 2020), Microsoft is the world’s most important, influential, and exciting company in the open-source ecosystem.

Once considered evil1, Microsoft under Nadella has not only embraced open-source, but pushed it more forward than any other Big Tech company2. If I had to choose between working at any of the FAANG/Big Four/etc., it has to be Microsoft.

Since Microsoft’s acquisition of GitHub, GitHub has released some of my favorite features on the platform, like GitHub Actions and GitHub Sponsors. They’re closing the loop in package management with the npm acquisition3 and GitHub Packages, and I can’t wait for GitHub Codespaces4. I’ve been an extremely heavy Actions user5 and am a first-time Sponsor now too. Microsoft is also a major contributor to Chromium since Edge transitioned to its engine

Microsoft is now behind:

  • The world’s most popular open-source code editor, VS Code
  • The world’s most popular git hosting provider, GitHub
  • The world’s most popular JavaScript package registry, npm
  • The world’s most popular compile-to-JS language, TypeScript

Footnotes

  1. Remember EEE?

  2. I highly recommend Hit Refresh on more about the new Microsoft

  3. As a great side-effect, bye bye VCs

  4. I’ve been an early adopter of “VS Code in the cloud” products, like being part of the Gitpod Professional Open Source, so I’m doubly excited about Codespaces

  5. I’ve replaced almost all my automations with GitHub Actions workflows, including building some end-to-end processes for Karuna 2020 and Twente.me

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About the author

Anand Chowdhary

Anand Chowdhary is a creative technologist and entrepreneur. He is the co-founder and CTO of Pabio, an interior design and rent-to-own furniture company funded by Y Combinator. He lives in Groningen, the Netherlands.

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