GitHub has announced that, effective April 14, 2020, all of its core features will be free for everyone. This will include private development within organizations that have previously paid for some subscription plans. This will allow small dev teams within organizations to use GitHub with no credit card or budget required. However, if your team requires more robust features it will still need to sign up for one of Microsoft’s paid subscription plans.
Microsoft acquired GitHub in October 2018 and proceeded to monetize it by creating five subscription plans through its licensing programs. As part of the announcement, Microsoft is changing up the plans and reducing the price of the Team plan from $9 per month to $4 per month.
There will now be four plans available, starting with a free entry-level plan with a few added features. Additional enhanced features are offered in tiers in the other paid subscription plans. Microsoft is essentially changing the platform from a pay-for-privacy model to pay-for-features model.
Source: GitHub, Accessed April 23, 2020.
Advanced features like code owners, more storage, and SAML support are important features that organizations will be compelled to pay for. In addition, when Microsoft acquired GitHub it was being hosted in AWS, and it is still there, with no immediate plans to move to Azure.
Although GitHub is owned by Microsoft, it is still operating as a separate entity with the original CEO, who still seems to be running the ship. This is not uncommon with acquisitions like this, but let’s look back a few years at the Nokia acquisition. Where is Nokia now? Microsoft acquired it to take over the Windows phone market but ended up writing the whole acquisition off and laying off thousands of employees two years later.
GitHub’s plan changes and price reductions appear to have been prompted by competitive pressure, which is also a trend that Microsoft tends to follow. Regardless, GitHub has managed to react to the market with more free features and reduced pricing to maintain its marketplace. Take advantage of it.