GitHub just launched free private repos with up to three collaborators. I like to think that increased competition from us (GitLab) contributed to this change – as one Hacker News commenter stated, "Thank you GitLab for providing market competition forcing GitHub to consider this!"
When we originally announced GitLab.com I made the main point that it would have private repos for free. I think it is great for beginner users that private repos on GitHub are now free. If you're starting to program and aren't ready to share your code with the world yet, you don't have to have a paid account to keep it private.
At the time, I was very disappointed to learn that Bitbucket.org already offered the same. GitLab took off despite that and GitLab.com recently surpassed 10 million projects and in the top dev tools ranking of Axosoft GitLab climbed the ranks 4 spots and overtook GitHub for the first year.
At GitLab we think that repositories will become a commodity. I think Microsoft will try to generate more revenue with people using Azure more instead of paying for repos. We're focusing on making a single application for the entire DevOps lifecycle that can replace a lot of other tools. Or, as Stavros Korokithakis phrased it: "My move to GitLab was basically 'Come for the free repos, stay for the rest of the amazing features.' I will not be moving off it, and my new repos will keep being on GitLab."
In the meantime, here are some more details of our current GitLab free private repository offering vs GitHub's:
|Number of collaborators||Unlimited||3|
|Wiki||Yes||No (public or paid only)|
|Pages||Yes||No (public or paid only)|
|Indicates who is paying||No||Yes|
|Free CI||2,000 min.||Maybe a free tier for Actions on Azure|
|Entire DevOps lifecycle||Yes||No|
|Location of the repo||Anywhere||Not in groups/orgs|
|API concurrent rate limit||36000||5000|
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