- By Jon D. Mark­man

Mi­crosoft is the best way to play the rise of soft­ware de­vel­oper tools. The en­ter­prise soft­ware gi­ant in 2018 pur­chased GitHub, an open-plat­form com­peti­tor to Git­Lab. The $7.5 bil­lion all-stock ac­qui­si­tion gave Mi­crosoft ac­cess to the Linux com­mu­nity, a show­case for its own de­vel­oper tools and ser­vices and a way to mon­e­tize

the de­vel­oper com­mu­nity. In the fis­cal year ended June 30, 2019, its In­tel­li­gent Cloud di­vi­sion, where GitHub landed,

re­ported $39 bil­lion in rev­enue and $13.9 bil­lion in op­er­at­ing in­come, gains of 21% and 20.9%, re­spec­tively. Although Mi­crosoft shares are up roughly 28% in 2020, com­pany out­reach to devel­op­ers and the growth of its cloud busi­ness could lift the stock to $290 in a year, a gain of 41% from

cur­rent lev­els.

Jon D. Mark­man

is pres­i­dent of Mark­man Cap­i­tal In­sight and the editor of Fast For­ward In­vest­ing.

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