As you might have heard, Microsoft is working to purchase LinkedIn for $26.2 billion dollars (US). That's a price of $196US a share. My first question when I heard this news, was on why Microsoft would buy LinkedIn versus just doing business.
Odds are, if you are using Codeguru or reading my posts, you are likely a member of LinkedIn. The site has grown to be the leading professional networking social media site. With over 433 million members worldwide, and with growth of 19% a year, it is definitely a powerhouse. In additional to the listings of people, the social groups, and the news feeds, LinkedIn continues to grow and offer other features as well. It currently has over 7 million active job listings. Recently, LinkedIn also made the news with its purchase of Lynda.com, a site that provides online educational training.
Microsoft actually does have a number of products and services that align with LinkedIn. The LinkedIn members are a target audience for pushing Microsoft Office 365 and Dynamics. It would be no surprise as well to see deep integration of Microsoft features such as Cortana search and Skype. There is also the more obvious synergy that could be gained by integrating LinkedIn with Microsoft's cloud services.
Overall, it seems like a strong business relationship might have worked. With the purchase, Microsoft will have the chance to do much deeper integration than they would have as a partner. Having said that, there is always the concern that LinkedIn could follow the path of Nokia. Only time will tell if that is the case. Currently, it looks like LinkedIn will have a chance to get a cash infusion, while still being given some independence under Microsoft. Only time will tell if this is the case.
There is one good document that has already been posted regarding the acquisition. This is a PowerPoint presentation that lists several of the specific ways that LinkedIn and Microsoft can gain synergy.
I found the examples in slides 12 to 20 of how LinkedIn and Microsoft could align interesting as showing some of the thinking on how the two companies will work together. I won't reiterate those details here; you can easily look at the slides.
As an additional resource, the following is the video that was initially posted regarding the purchase. It was good the hear Jeff Weiner state "We [Microsoft and LinkedIn] have to ensure we are aligned in two key areas. One is in purpose and one is in structure." It was also good to hear them state that LinkedIn would continue to have its independence.
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