Can Bitbucket prevail in a Github-obsessed world?

Github may be the kingpin of source code repositories and versioning systems with more than 2 million individual developers aboard, but Atlassian is pushing its revamped Bitbucket as a good option for corporate developers. On Tuesday, the company plans to unveil a major facelift to Bitbucket as well as new features including in-line commenting.

While Github is the repository and versioning system of choice in the open-source world, Bitbucket — which supports both Git and Mercurial repositories — is strong in private repositories and private coding teams, said Jay Simons, president of Atlassian. Bitbucket customers include Zillow, Nordstrom, Best Buy(s bbuy), Verizon(s vz), Orbitz(s oow) and NASA, according to the company.

When GigaOM reported on a Github outage a few weeks ago, one commenter said that more developers will start looking for redundant repositories and that Bitbucket is a viable option. “It might be a good idea to mirror the central repo with multiple providers when it comes to [version control system] hosting,” commenter JohnB wrote. “It’s already becoming a best practice to do that with cloud hosting in general.”

Bitbucket user interface before (left) and after.

Atlassian also updated Stash, its 5-month-old on-premises Git-based code repository/version management offering, with support for pull requests. That means a developer using that piece of software at the time can be alerted of the update and sync up as needed. Stash targets companies that want to keep their code development inside the firewall.

While Github keeps a running count of active developers and repositories supported, Bitbucket is more interested in development teams and claims 20,000 of them use the service.  Bitbucket is free for teams of up to 5 developers who can use an unlimited number of repositories. There is a nominal $1 per user per month charge for each additional user. Github is free for open source developers but the company also offers price plans based on number of repositories used.

Other code repositories include Google Code and CodebaseHQ.