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Mixed Reaction

Microsoft is acquiring GitHub, a site widely used by researchers to share datasets and software code, Nature News reports. It adds that this $7.5 billion deal has evoked a mixed reaction among researchers.

GitHub relies on Git, a system developed by Linux's Linus Torvalds for tracking software code changes, the Economist says. GitHub then further enables collaboration by allowing comments and discussions to be stored alongside the source code as well as by having developers use "pull requests" to suggest changes that can be reviewed by others, it adds. This, it says, has made GitHub the "de facto home of open-source software."

Nature News says some researchers and developers are nervous about its acquisition by Microsoft, as they note the company has been slow to make its tools open-source and are concern it could change the GitHub model.

"While I trust that Microsoft plans to take good care of the GitHub product itself, I am worried about what ways they may try to monetize all the data they now have about how developers work and relate to each other, how software projects are built and maintained," Kyle Simpson, a JavaScript author and trainer, tells the Verge.

Others, though, say having Microsoft's resources at hand could increase the number of users, Nature News adds.

In a blog post, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella says the company is "committed to being stewards of the GitHub community, which will retain its developer-first ethos, operate independently and remain an open platform. 

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