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Microsoft, LinkedIn Coming Together


Satya Nadella | CEO, Microsoft at Build 2015. Photo Credit: Microsoft.

Both Satya Nadella and Jeff Weiner can be seen talking about Microsoft acquiring LinkedIn here on YouTube:​ EndFragment

Having covered technology for over a decade, I know that some of commentary will be negative, mostly driven by the deep-seated animus some have toward Microsoft.

That kind of criticism can be dismissed.

Others will raise concerns as to what will happen with LinkedIn, which is popular amongst businesses and executives and employees who regard LinkedIn as a needed resource to network with colleagues and to research and conduct business.

Microsoft has been focusing hard on business customers, and several recent acquisitions by the company suggest it is positioning itself more aggressively as a business solutions provider. In 2012, Microsoft purchased Yammer, an enterprise social-networking vendor and Microsoft has incorporated Yammer into its Office 365 service. A close look at the company’s most recent offering shows Microsoft wants businesses to have a range of tools that can be used in tandem or individually to help with key business issues. Businesses now can use Skype for Business, decided between Office 365 Groups or Exchange, and can share files either in Outlook, OneDrive for Business or in SharePoint or Yammer. There are no one size fits all tools. It is using the right tool for the right job; or even several tools for the job.

LinkedIn is beloved by its nearly half-million users because, unlike Facebook, it is used to establish and maintain professional and work relationships, and for people to seek out persons to fill staff and executive positions, and to share professional knowledge and expertise. A growing criticism of LinkedIn is that some have been treating it as another Facebook, posting about vacations and family events. As one person told me, “I don’t go to LinkedIn to watch cat videos or to know where you vacationed.” The Microsoft deal will likely put an end to that, putting to focus squarely on LinkedIn being a business tool.

A great advantage is those using LinkedIn will be getting access to a range of Microsoft tools and business solutions. This will likely be similar to the acquisition by LinkedIn earlier this year. gives LinkedIn members access to online learning and training tools. I also see Microsoft incorporating many LinkedIn communications and networking features into its growing Office 365 tools, so users within Office 365 can post and communicate with their LinkedIn connections, and offers new means of collaboration.

This is a smart deal that will bring advantages to both Microsoft and to LinkedIn.

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