GitHub is now free to teams, with subscription prices cut

15 Apr 2020

Image: © Andrei/

GitHub CEO Nat Friedman said he has been ‘excited’ to make GitHub free for teams for the last 18 months, since the company was acquired by Microsoft.

On Tuesday (14 April), GitHub CEO Nat Friedman announced some changes to the platform’s pricing plans, extending free service to teams while reducing the price for additional key features.

Friedman said that core GitHub features are now available for free to all users, including private repositories with unlimited collaborators. Prior to the announcement, organisations had to subscribe to a paid plan to use the platform for private development.

Future Human

Friedman said that this has changed because “every developer on earth should have access to GitHub”, and that “price shouldn’t be a barrier.”

What do the changes mean?

According to Friedman, teams can now manage their work in one place. This includes continuous integration and continuous development (CI/CD), project management, code review, packages and more.

Organisations using the GitHub Team plan will automatically be moved to GitHub Free, which, as well as offering private repositories and unlimited collaborators, allows 2,000 Actions minutes per month and GitHub community support.

The software platform will also continue to offer GitHub Pro as part of its Student Developer Pack and teachers will continue to have access to GitHub Team.

Friedman said that users or teams that need advanced or enterprise features such as Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) or personalised support can upgrade to GitHub’s paid plans.

The price of the paid plans has been slashed by more than half, from $9 per user per month to $4 per user per month. This is effective immediately and existing customers will have their bills reduced automatically.

The company said that this is a permanent change and, according to a recent interview with TechCrunch, Friedman has had this plan in the pipeline for a long time. “It’s definitely something we wanted to do and, I mean, this is a big flippin’ deal,” he said.

Friedman said that this was one of the goals the company set when it was acquired by Microsoft in 2018. The CEO tweeted: “I’ve been excited for this day for nearly 18 months, and it’s great to finally be here.”

At the time of the acquisition, many users were concerned about the company’s future with Microsoft, with some programmers threatening to leave the platform. One Twitter user joked: “I’d rather keep my code written on a napkin.”

Kelly Earley was a journalist with Silicon Republic