esparta.co

Microsoft’s Acquisition List

Context

Back in June 2018 I posted a tweet, half joking:

Twitter Status

The above tweet mention a ‘leaked list’ of companies that Microsoft would be willing to buy:

It was triggered by the acquisition of Github that same day in June 4, 2018. That was a US $7,500,000,000 dollars deal. Not bad. Not bad at all.

I was trying to make a point: what would be next steps for a company with the political and financial power like Microsoft to dominate the technology ecosystem again1?

When I did post that tweet it looked very obvious and also absurd, so I though it was ridiculous. It would never happen in that way. Would it?

Reality is more absurd than fiction?

March 16, 2020. Github acquires NPM

Moving forward to March 16, 2020, it happened. Microsoft bought NPM Inc, it may be was a coincidence, may be no. But it was funny 2 months ago, so I did tweet again:

Almost 2 years ago I predict @Microsoft would be adquiring @npmjs. So, I guess @Docker is next.

So, Microsoft was actually willing to acquire NPM2, exactly as I did predict via that joke in 2018. If the trending was the same, I continue, then Docker would be next.

I’m not even close to be a financial strategist, not at all, I was writing something ridiculous, way to much ridiculous that it would not happen. Doesn’t it?

Ridiculous, you say? How about this?

OK, it’s now May 27, 2020. There’s now press releases and discussions all over the nerdland:

Docker expands relationship with Microsoft to ease developer experience acrossplatforms

Docker expands relationship with Microsoft to ease developer experience across platforms

Is not clear enough? I was right. Again. The next in line was Docker, it may not be an acquisition3, but the plans are there and ridiculous as they seem it may continue in the near future.

So, StackOverflow is next?

StackOverflow. We <3 people who code

I don’t know, folks. But I’m not able to think in one single developer who doesn’t use at least once a week StackOverflow to solve an issue at hand. All, ALL of us use StackOverflow, and it may be very convenient that Microsoft o any other subsidiary have the control4. It may even take more, like going directly against StackExchange, why not?

StackExchange. The world’s largest programming community

Not sure it will be an acquisition, a merge, a takeover. I would guess Joel Spolsky (and their board of directors) would be very happy to sell5, I would sell it. Twice.

And what about the others?

Conclusions

All of these thinking and coincidences are kind of funny, but I’ve seen people with real concerns about it. I’ve read in the orange website6 that all those movements are the same strategy Microsoft had in the 90s:

Embrace, Extend, and Extinguish

I’m on the idea this it is not the case.

Microsoft is not the same it used to be. All these acquisitions, collaborations and future merges does not happen with the goal of extinguish the others, but to have more participation7 of a section of the ecosystem. In my opinion, it’s not a bad thing per se

The world is not the same either.

The persons who worked on their own projects and later success8 companies deserves their own goals be completed, growing or compensation that may not be achieved directly, selling is not a sin.

Selling is not an end.

Also, there’s enough space to cohabit the developers world, Open Source options, independent communities and foundations, you name it.

Is the future as ridiculous as it may looks? Not sure. I’m not sure.

– Esparta


Credits


  1. It was 80s to 90s, you may or may not be born yet. ↩︎

  2. Via Github, we are not dealing with monopolies nowadays ↩︎

  3. ..yet, that would look like a monopoly, and we hate monopolies nowadays, remember? ↩︎

  4. How about LinkedIn merging StackOverflow? ↩︎

  5. Anecdotal and not related, but Joel used to work at Microsoft ↩︎

  6. My bad, I should not read the comments. ↩︎

  7. and more control, and profit, for sure. ↩︎

  8. … or profitable or sellable, you name it. ↩︎