GitHub Free now includes unlimited private repositories with up to three collaborators per repository.
The significant change to GitHub announced today by CEO Nat Friedman might be the first major change since Microsoft bought the company previous year: free accounts can now create private repositories. But now those are free if you have three collaborators or fewer. To date, private repositories on the service required users to pay $7 a month for a personal developer account.
Until recently, developers who wanted to create private git repositories without opening their wallets were forced to use a rival service - most frequently BitBucket. This is a reasonable compromise that ensures Microsoft can see profit from GitHub for commercial projects while extending a great benefit to those who could use the help the most. Over 31 million developers have used GitHub to create 100 million repositories, each of them a discrete project.
In a further sign of potential parent company synergy, GitHub said devs can now create pull requests directly from GitHub Pull Requests, an extension for Microsoft Visual Studio Code, the Windows maker's Electron-based cross-platform code editor. The new Enterprise Cloud plan will let organizations and businesses access cloud and self-hosted GitHub configurations for a single per-user price.
Overall these changes should help GitHub continue to develop a healthy ecosystem of users. Public repositories are still available at no cost and can have an unlimited number of collaborators.
GitHub Enterprise is GitHub's new unified product for Enterprise Cloud (formerly GitHub Business Cloud) and Enterprise Server (formerly GitHub Enterprise).