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Microsoft to Buy LinkedIn: Office Tools Meet Social Networking

By | 06.14.16

Microsoft to Buy LinkedIn: Office Tools Meet Social Networking

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has made his first splash with an agreement to buy LinkedIn, the largest professional social network in the world, for $26.2 billion.

If you are one of the 433 million members of LinkedIn, don’t worry about overnight change. The company will retain its brand and independence and CEO Jeff Weiner will remain in charge and working closely with Nadella.

However, the Microsoft CEO says that the acquisition will be a game-changer for the company’s digital assistant, Cortana, and for Office 365, the suite of products that leads the market in cloud-based apps for business, with 15 million subscribers. He describes LinkedIn as a vital tool in the professional workspace and the “key to our bold ambition to reinvent productivity and business processes.”

In an internal memo to employees about the acquisition, Nadella offers his vision for the way in which LinkedIn and Microsoft can work together to benefit the average business user. How about a LinkedIn newsfeed that chooses articles based on the particular project you are working on while Office scours LinkedIn resumes for an expert with the skills to help you complete that project?

With the new information from LinkedIn available to Cortana, it would be possible to learn more about the background, skills and interests of your employees, potential employees and people on the other end of high-stakes business meetings.

Why would LinkedIn agree to this deal, which has been approved by the boards of both corporations and is expected to close before the end of the calendar year?

Some analysts point to the 43 percent decline in LinkedIn’s stock price since reaching a high of $270 a share in early 2015. In addition, 2015 wasn’t a banner year for growth for LinkedIn. While the company added more members during the year, the real picture for the company’s growth was its number of unique visitors. There was no growth in that important area from the first quarter to the second quarter of the year, and that trend was repeated from Q3 to Q4.

Read the announcement from Microsoft.

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