With Microsoft deal pending, GitHub launches new educational package for students

(GitHub Image)

GitHub, the software development platform that recently agreed to be acquired by Microsoft for $7.5 billion, is expanding its services for schools, universities and educational institutions with the launch of GitHub Education, a new free service for schools that bundles together several GitHub services into a single package.

As part of the 28 million people who use the online code repository to collaborate on coding projects or develop apps for their companies, several schools also use GitHub products like the Student Developer Pack and GitHub Classroom to help teach students how to work and how to work on group products involving code. The new GitHub Education bundle combines some of those separate tools and also provides free access to the professional-level tools like Github for Business and Github Enterprise.

Schools aren’t developing the applications that power much of corporate America, of course, but they are training students to work in that environment. And a big part of that training involves getting familiar with the same cutting-edge technologies used their professional counterparts; along those lines, all major cloud vendors offer student packages for their services.

While the deal has yet to close, this could be another customer funnel for Microsoft Azure once the Redmond company completes the $7.5 billion acquisition of GitHub, the third-largest deal in company history. Microsoft has pledged to keep GitHub as an independent code repository that works with all clouds, but developers will be watching closely to see how Microsoft integrates GitHub with commercial products like Azure and Visual Studio.

One of Microsoft’s reasons for acquiring GitHub is its belief that software development will continue to spread beyond pure tech companies. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella wrote in a post about the deal, “As every industry – from precision medicine to precision agriculture, from personalized education to personalized banking – is being impacted by technology, the developer community will only grow in numbers and importance.”

The companies are operating independently until the acquisition is completed, which is expected to happen later this year.

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