Source code hosting site GitHub began in 2008 as a side project to provide an easy hosting option for developers. The site has since grown to more than 1.6 million users and over 2.8 million source code repositories. The popular site has finally released a Windows version of its client that works with everything from Windows XP to pre-release versions of Windows 8.

GitHub Reaches Out to the Enterprise

GitHub’s release of a Window’s client isn’t too shocking. The startup released a Mac client last year and has a mobile app.

Targeting Windows next made sense because 50 percent of traffic on the site is from Windows-based machines, which is still one of the most popular operating systems on developer machines. The new client will make it much easier for Windows users to leverage Github and collaborate on projects.

To create the Windows client, GitHub used developers that had significant experience creating applications on Windows. Phil Haack and Paul Betts, who are both previous Microsoft employees, led the team.

At Microsoft, Haack led the development of the companies ASP.Net MVC web framework and NuGet, an open source development tool that makes it easier for developers to use third party code. Betts worked on Vista and development tools during his stint in Seattle.

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The team focused on making the tool useful and easy to use for Windows developers. However, it’s likely that the effort wasn’t an exercise in developer-to-developer benevolence.

The majority of the company’s revenue is generated by its private repositories, which have a subscription fee. The services have some individual subscribers, but the big money comes from corporate subscriptions. GitHub has to make its paid code hosting services more attractive to enterprise customers, and supporting development on Windows-based systems will be an important step in making that happen.

Getting More Information

Windows developers have always been able to access Git through its web client and various third party offerings. However, the new official Windows client will likely offer a better experience. The client, which is a native Windows application, is available for download now and is free. It will be interesting to see if the existence of a Windows client increases the company’s corporate customer base.