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欧盟反垄断监管机构将就微软收购GitHub作出裁决

据路透社9月17日报道,欧盟反垄断监管机构将于10月19日前决定是否批准软件巨头微软以75亿美元对GitHub进行收购。

微软此前要求欧盟批准此次收购计划,现在必须等到10月份才能确定欧盟反垄断执行机构是否会批准该交易,或者反过来调查微软涉嫌在该领域的垄断行为。

GitHub是最大的计算机代码存储库,现有的大部分区块链代码也存储在这里。此前当微软收购Github的消息传来时,成千上万的Github开发者转向了竞争对手GitLab,尽管这些用户只占Github 3000万活跃用户的一小部分,但影响还是相当大。

虽然许多开发人员欣然接受了微软可能为这个以前的私营平台带来的机会,但其他人还是担心微软是否会充分包容开源代码。微软前首席执行官史蒂夫?鲍尔默(Steve Ballmer)就曾将开源(免费)操作系统Linux称作“癌症”。

微软现任首席执行官Satya Nadella一直在努力安抚开发者,并承诺Github将继续是一个开放平台。他在收购后写道:

“开发人员是这个新时代的建设者,他们编写世界的代码,GitHub就是他们的家园。”

三个月前,微软既定的GitHub首席执行官人选Nat Friedman在reddit公开回应了开发者的问题和担忧。GitHub现任首席执行官Chris Wanstrath也表示支持,他说道:

“微软在开源领域的工作激励了我们,它成功收购‘我的世界’下载站(Minecraft)和领英(LinkedIn)的事实向我们表明,他们是非常认真的。”

但对于区块链和加密货币社区来说,微软的收购可能与这种新底层技术的去中心化理念不太相符。许多区块链支持者反对微软和谷歌等大公司的中心化权力,它们对与人们生活息息相关的个人数据和软件平台拥有如此大的影响力。工程师James Zaki在Medium平台上发表的对微软收购的看法颇具代表性:

“对于那些着眼于去中心化未来的人来说,个人对无领导产品的贡献会得到回报,而看到GitHub由大公司运营则是朝着相反方向迈出的一步。”

从本质上讲,欧盟不会解决开发者的担忧、区块链或其他问题。如果该交易最终达成,开发者可能会根据自身利益作出选择,要么继续支持GitHub并信任微软,要么转向GitHub的竞争对手。

European Union antitrust regulators will decide by October 19 whether to approve a $7.5 billion acquisition of GitHub by software giant Microsoft, according to a report from Reuters.

Microsoft requested EU approval for the acquisition and now must wait until October to find out if the EU's competition enforcer will approve the deal or instead investigate concerns about Microsoft's monopoly in the space.

GitHub contains is the largest repository for computer code, including much of existing blockchain code. When the deal with Microsoft emerged, thousands of Github developers left for rival GitLab (though that's only a small proportion of GitHub's 30 million or so monthly users).

While many developers embrace the opportunities Microsoft might bring to the previously privately owned platform, others are concerned about whether Microsoft sufficiently believes in open-source code. Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer once called Linux, the open-source (and free) group of operating systems, a "cancer."

Current Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has worked to reassure developers, confirming that Github would continue to be an open platform. "Developers are the builders of this new era, writing the world's code," he wrote after the acquisition. "And GitHub is their home."

Nat Friedman, Microsoft's planned CEO of GitHub, went to reddit three months ago to answer developers' questions and concerns openly. GitHub's current CEO Chris Wanstrath has also been supportive, saying, "[Microsoft's] work on open source has inspired us, the success of the Minecraft and LinkedIn acquisitions has shown us they are serious."

But for the blockchain and cryptocurrency community, Microsoft's acquisition might not sit too well with the decentralized ethos of this new foundational technology. Many proponents balk against the centralized powers of large organisations like Microsoft and Google holding so much sway over personal data and the software platforms that form a major part of people's lives.

Engineer James Zaki's views on the Microsoft acquisition, posted to Medium, are somewhat representative:

"For those with their eye towards a decentralised future, where individuals are rewarded for their contributions to leaderless products, seeing GitHub run by a giant corporation is a step in the opposite direction."

The EU won't address developer concerns, per se, blockchain or otherwise. If and when the deal goes through, developers are likely to vote with their patronage, either sticking with GitHub and trusting Microsoft, or moving to one of GitHub's competitors.


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