LinkedIn, the professional social network used by business icons, large and small companies, and most likely a few of your colleagues, has been acquired by Microsoft for $26.2 billion.
What can only be described as a major move from Microsoft, this being it’s first huge foray into social media, the development is the first step towards integrating the social network into its popular apps and services, including Cortana, Office and Skype. Effectively, you could ask Cortana to find the professional background of your interviewer, or access a Company’s most recent article to use in an Office PowerPoint presentation. Skype call a colleague or set up a video conference call between team members. Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s CEO, thinks the career-orientated platform is the ideal fit. To get things done, you need a ‘connected professional world’, whether it’s getting help with a spreadsheet or fleshing out details in a customer relations tool like Microsoft’s Dynamics.
Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn is reportedly keeping his role, with Microsoft promising to maintain the independence of the platform after closing the deal sometime in 2016. New features will no doubt be introduced though, with Nadella spotting the revenue potential from subscriptions and targeted ads.
Although LinkedIn remains pages behind the social media giant Facebook, it has a strong user base, home to 433 million members, and holds a key place in the market. This move sees Microsoft follow the suit of Apple and Google, with Nadella steaming ahead with more emphasis on cloud services, leaning away from its historic dependence on Windows. There are now multiple tech providers especially on the mobile front (Apple, Samsung and Huawei), which all outrank Microsoft’s lack luster offerings, covering computing, tech gadgets and mobile software alike. This move is one step towards Nadella and Microsoft’s dream of becoming a crucial service provider, changing their tactics and finally accepting the evolving computer landscape that we now see today.