Tech

Microsoft's GitHub agrees to buy code-distribution start-up Npm

Key Points
  • Npm Inc. runs a service many developers use to install software on computers.  
  • Microsoft-owned GitHub said it will continue to operate the Npm public registry for distributing JavaScript code.
Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft
CNBC

Microsoft's GitHub subsidiary on Monday said it has agreed to buy Npm, a company that operates an online service for distributing packages of open-source software written in the popular JavaScript programming language and offers software that companies can use for their proprietary code as well.

Terms of the deal weren't disclosed.

The new deal shows Microsoft doubling down on the strategy of helping individuals and corporate developers adopt open-source software, despite its heritage of distributing products that cost money, like Windows. Microsoft acquired GitHub, an online repository for many open-source projects, for $7.5 billion in 2018, and this strategy helps the company particularly in JavaScript, the most widely used programming language among developers according to the latest survey from start-up Stack Overflow.

In May of last year GitHub introduced a Package Registry service that represented a degree of competition for Npm, as it. allows people to publish new packages from their code.

"For paying customers who use npm Pro, Teams, and Enterprise to host private registries, we will continue to support you. We are also investing heavily in GitHub Packages as a great multi-language packages registry that's fully integrated with GitHub," GitHub CEO Nat Friedman wrote in a blog post. "Later this year, we will enable npm's paying customers to move their private npm packages to GitHub Packages—allowing npm to exclusively focus on being a great public registry for JavaScript."

"When I saw the GitHub Packages beta announcement and demo at GitHub HQ in San Francisco, I remember turning to Shanku Niyogi and clumsily blurting out, 'Why aren't you trying to buy us?'" Isaac Schlueter, inventor of the Npm package manager and founder of Npm, wrote in a blog post on Monday.

Npm was founded in 2014 and is based in Oakland, California, with 46 employees, according to LinkedIn. The open-source Npm package manager dates to 2009. The start-up's investors include Bessemer Venture Partners and True Ventures. As of Monday the Npm homepage listed Microsoft as one of the companies that it was "gratefully serving," along with Adobe, Nike and Salesforce.

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