[Update: It’s official] GitHub to provide unlimited access to private depositories for free, announcement coming tomorrow

It’s been a little more than months since GitHub was officially acquired by Microsoft, and the Redmond giant is expected to make an important announcement regarding free accounts tomorrow, January 8. The Next Web, which mistakenly broke an embargo over the weekend, revealed that Microsoft will now allow users of free GitHub accounts to create private repositories, something that was restricted to developer and team accounts until now (via ZDNet).

According to The Next Web, users with free GitHub accounts will be able to create an unlimited number of private repositories, though these will be limited to three collaborators a piece. Microsoft obviously needed to add some restrictions to make paid GitHub accounts more attractive, but making private repositories free will be a positive change for small developers wanting to collaborate on private projects.

It’s also worth noting that other services like Atlassian’s BitBucket already offer free private repositories, so Microsoft will be catching up with the competition. Sound off in the comments if you think making private repositories free with some restrictions can help GitHub grow its user base this year.

Update: It’s official, GitHub has just announced that GitHub Free now includes unlimited private repositories with up to three collaborators per repository. Additionally, GitHub is launching GitHub Enterprise, the new unified product for Enterprise Cloud and Enterprise Server. You can learn more about features and pricing details here.

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Do you think this change will attract more small developers on GitHub?