Microsoft’s GitHub to acquire JavaScript package manager npm

Kip Kniskern

GitHub, the developer repository acquired by Microsoft back in 2018, is itself acquiring npm, the popular open source Javascript package manager. In a post on the GitHub blog, Nat Friedman, CEO of the independently run GitHub, describes npm with its 1.3 million packages and 75 billion downloads a month as “the largest developer ecosystem in the world.” Friedman promises that npm will “always be available and always be free,” and plans to focus on three main areas once the acquisition is complete:

  • Invest in the registry infrastructure and platform. The JavaScript ecosystem is massive and growing quickly. It needs a rock-solid registry. We will make the investments necessary to ensure that npm is fast, reliable, and scalable.
  • Improve the core experience. We will work to improve the everyday experience of developers and maintainers, and support the great work already started on the npm v7 CLI, which will remain free and open source. Some bigger features that we’re excited about are Workspaces and improvements to the publishing and multi-factor authentication experience.
  • Engage with the community. We will actively engage with the JavaScript community to get your ideas and help us define the future of npm.

Once change that will be available to npm users: paying npm customers will be able to use GitHub packages, “a great multi-language packages registry that’s fully integrated with GitHub,” to move their private npm packages to GitHub packages. As Friedman says, “(t)he future of npm and the JavaScript ecosystem is very bright.”