If you’re a GitHub user, but you don’t pay, this is a good week. Historically, GitHub always offered free accounts but the caveat was that your code had to be public. To get private repositories, you had to pay. Starting tomorrow, that limitation is gone. Free GitHub users now get unlimited private projects with up to three collaborators.
The amount of collaborators is really the only limitation here and there’s no change to how the service handles public repositories, which can still have unlimited collaborators.
This feels like a sign of goodwill on behalf of Microsoft, which closed its acquisition of GitHub last October, with former Xamarin CEO Nat Friedman taking over as GitHub’s CEO. Some developers were rather nervous about the acquisition (though it feels like most have come to terms with it). It’s also a fair guess to assume that GitHub’s model for monetizing the service is a bit different from Microsoft’s. Microsoft doesn’t need to try to get money from small teams — that’s not where the bulk of its revenue comes from. Instead, the company is mostly interested in getting large enterprises to use the service.
Talking about teams, GitHub also today announced that it is changing the name of the GitHub Developer suite to ‘GitHub Pro.’ The company says it’s doing so in order to “help developers better identify the tools they need.”
But what’s maybe even more important is that GitHub Business Cloud and GitHub Enterprise (now called Enterprise Cloud and GitHub Enterprise) have become one and are now sold under the ‘GitHub Enterprise’ label and feature per-user pricing.