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Microsoft Links Up with LinkedIn

The internet is abuzz with the recent announcement that the behemoth Microsoft is purchasing the social media business platform LinkedIn for $26.2 billion.

Unsurprisingly, some think it’s a great move for the two companies and others predict disaster.

So who thinks what?

The Wall Street Journal reports that, ‘The two companies are natural fits and the deal may fare better than past acquisitions.’

Forbes thinks that the purchase is ‘An instant win for shareholders of Silicon Valley’s leading professional social network.’

However, The Financial Times believes that ‘The $26bn move shows software chief’s rewards (stock options, to be specific) are too tilted toward costly and risky expansion.’

And in the Bloomberg Law column ‘Above The Law’ Robert Ambrogi shares a divided opinion: “I am of two minds about what this means for lawyers. There is potential for gaining access to powerful marketing, intelligence and research tools, directly within the applications we work in every day. This could be of greatest benefit to solos and smalls who can’t afford similar tools already in use at larger firms. But I am very concerned about the ethical and privacy implications.”

Microsoft Linked in 2What makes the acquisition so spectacular and yet at the same time controversial?

  • Other companies acquired by Microsoft haven’t fared so well under the Microsoft umbrella. Even so, some are holding out that Microsoft’s new CEO, Satya Nadella, can turn the tide. Some say that while Steve Balmer (the former Microsoft CEO) tried to drive users to Microsoft platforms, Nadella, on the other hand is willing to meet users where they are.
  • If you’re a Microsoft product user, your LinkedIn account should become more powerful and helpful. If not, you might not feel so, well, linked in.
  • Business software company Salesforce tried to purchase LinkedIn but underbid and lost to Microsoft. LinkedIn makes Microsoft a formidable competitor to Salesforce in the sales force automation space which benefits customers as each company works to best the other.

Whatever happens, the acquisition will either be a big win for Microsoft and Nadella or a huge and costly embarrassment.  In the words of Sherlock Holmes, ‘the game is afoot’.

Active in 200 countries, LinkedIn has 433 million registered members with 105 million of those active each month. Mobile accounts for 60 percent of all traffic and there are currently seven million active job listings.

If you’re a Linked In member – and even if you’re not – this might be a good time to beef up your profile and learn how to better use the professional network. Check out this article for tips on how to do just that.


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