Mergers and Acquisitions

Microsoft Buys LinkedIn; Deeper Dynamics, Office 365 Integrations Coming

Microsoft is buying LinkedIn for $26.2 billion, giving the software and cloud giant incredible reach into the B2B social media world. Next up: Deeper LinkedIn integrations with Office 365 and Microsoft Dynamics, the companies seem to be suggesting.

“The LinkedIn team has grown a fantastic business centered on connecting the world’s professionals,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said in a prepared statement. “Together we can accelerate the growth of LinkedIn, as well as Microsoft Office 365 and Dynamics as we seek to empower every person and organization on the planet.”

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner explain the details here:

Video link

The big question: Will Microsoft somehow harvest LinkedIn's membership database for its own sales, HR and business development motions? Or will LinkedIn's membership database be firewalled away from Microsoft? Hmmm...

Imagine the following scenarios:

  • Microsoft wants to move Oracle customers to SQL Server. Simply harvest Oracle member groups on LinkedIn.
  • Microsoft wants to move Lenovo and HP Enterprise customers to Surface notebooks. Simply harvest PC-oriented member groups on LinkedIn.
  • And the potential list goes on.

I'm not suggesting Microsoft plans to make those moves. But Microsoft will surely need to answer questions about user and database privacy in the days ahead.

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.