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Microsoft loses the fight to GitHub, announces plan to shutter CodePlex on December 15

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In what can only be seen as a significant victory for GitHub, Microsoft has today announced that it will shut down CodePlex, its open-source project-hosting service. The Redmond giant has reached this decision about eleven years after starting the service in 2006. It will now completely end support for the platform on December 15. It is also advising users to make the switch to GitHub.

Microsoft CodePlex was launched back in 2006 to provide developers an avenue to store and share their open-source projects with others. It was seen as a more minimalistic and functional alternative to SourceForge, which helped it gain some initial traction. The platform was, however, sent down the path of ultimate death with the launch of Github in 2008. The latter handed over developers a cleaner implementation of Git and they flooded the platform in huge numbers.

This announcement has been long coming, there is no doubt about that. The biggest piece of evidence for the same is that Microsoft itself migrated some of its key open-source projects from Visual Studio Team Services to Github. This was the final nail in CodePlex’s coffin, whose grave was being dug for the past couple years. It further adds that interest in its own repository had dwindled and many developers had migrated to rival services. It was now witnessing code commits from under 350 projects per month — which is surely embarrassing, to say the least.

Commenting on the closure, Brian Harry, Product Unit Manager for Team Foundation Server said,

We launched CodePlex in 2006 because we, like others in the industry, saw a need for a great place to share software. Over the years, we’ve seen a lot of amazing options come and go but at this point, GitHub is the de facto place for open source sharing and most open source projects have migrated there.

Further, the Redmond giant now boasts of being one of the most widely supported organizations on Github. In the blog post, it has been mentioned that Microsoft now has more than 16,000 open source contributors – more than any other organization. And the company has now decided to further its relationship with the most popular open-source repository platform to promote their open-source projects to all developers.

As for developers still using CodePlex, Microsoft has released a timeline for the closure of the platform as there is quite a lot of time until December 15. The company has already ended support for the creation of new CodePlex projects and is looking to make their platform read-only in October.

Then, it will take the next couple of months to take a complete backup and archive the open-source data stored on its servers. These servers will be decommissioned on December 15, with archives available for download through ‘all in common, transferable formats like Markdown and JSON.’ With regards to the same, Brian says,

So, it’s time to say goodbye to CodePlex. As of this post, we’ve disabled the ability to create new CodePlex projects. In October, we’ll set CodePlex to read-only, before shutting it down completely on December 15th, 2017.

RIP CodePlex. Long Live Github! Hey developers, you already knew about this impending demise, right? Comment your thoughts down below.

A hands-on guy fascinated by new apps, technologies and enterprise products.

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