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For those unaware, GitHub, is a web-based hosting service for software development projects that allows developers to use the tools of the privately-held company to store code, change, adapt and improve software from its public repositories for free.

GitHub, founded in 2008 and based in San Francisco, was created largely as a community for software developers to share programming tools and code.

"GitHub will retain its developer-first ethos and will operate independently to provide an open platform for all developers in all industries", Microsoft said. The platform hosts a growing network of developers in almost every country representing more than 1.5 million companies across healthcare, manufacturing, technology, financial services, retail and more. GitHub is home for modern developers and the world's most popular destination for open source projects and software innovation.

GitHub was last valued at $2 billion in its last funding round in 2015, but the price tag for an acquisition could be $5 billion or more, based on a price that was floated past year.

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If confirmed, the acquisition will concern many developers anxious about what Microsoft will do to GitHub as a service. And GitHub's outgoing CEO, Chris Wanstrath, will become a Microsoft technical fellow and report to Scott Guthrie. But a US$5 billion price tag would certainly make GitHub one of the larger purchases in Microsoft's portfolio. David Heinemeier Hansson, creator of the Ruby on Rails framework, joined people that were forlorn about the deal, and tweeted that this would be a "sad end to the independence of GitHub".

GitHub is a "great buy" for Microsoft, analyst Jack Gold of J. Gold Associates said in a report. "When you write the largest check the firm's ever written on a Series A deal, there will always be questions on whether this is a good deal", partner Peter Levine told Fortune Monday morning. Microsoft has already made a huge investment in GitHub with so much of their development platform and tooling and even their docs on GitHub.

In August, GitHub announced that it was looking for a CEO to replace Chris Wanstrath, one of the company's co-founders. Concern over GitHub's management in the future, along with Microsoft's checkered past with open source, might be the biggest hurdle the company has to overcome.