Microsofts recent $7.5 billion new family member GitHub is showing signs of rebellion. A lot of large companies have been under pressure from their employees due to projects involving different parts of the government. Google with the Pentagon. Amazon with the police. Microsoft with ICE. Employees have signed petitions wanting the companies out of those projects or even quitting, as they don’t want involvement in this ethically questionable projects. But with recent events involving ICE taking away illegal immigrant children from parents at the border, Microsofts relationship has a spotlight on it. After the GitHub acquisition there were already developers leaving the platform worried the new ownership would move the site away from its open source culture. Microsoft committed to leaving the open culture, with some developers staying to give them a chance. But a group of remaining developers are threatening to go elsewhere if Microsoft does not end the contract with ICE. This may have long term ramifications to the image of GitHub, making Microsofts investment questionable. With the deal between ICE and Microsoft rumored to be worth $19.4 million, is it worth putting the significantly higher GitHub acquisition at risk? Keep in mind that burning a government org may have long term ramifications on other opportunities in the future, not just the monetary loss. This developer ultimatum combined with internal employee pushback Microsoft will need to be careful on how they react/handle this. It’s great to see people unify for what they believe is a good cause against a big corporation. But what do you all think? Is this the right way to handle this? Why doesn’t this happen for other causes? How should Microsoft handle this?
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