Microsoft’s biggest acquisition in history: how does it impact you?

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner speaking about the acquisition in an interview.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner speaking about the acquisition in an interview.

By now, you would have definitely heard of one of the biggest tech M&A deals ever, and certainly the largest acquisition for Microsoft. Everyone was taken by surprise - it’s amazing how this huge deal was hush-hushed and did not leak at all! As expected, the stock market moved significantly that day, and media outlets were busy buzzing with news to cover this exciting story.

With such a huge buyout at $26.2 billion, you might wonder the reasons on why Microsoft locked down this deal. More importantly, what does it mean to end consumers and businesses? Here are our two cents.

Why LinkedIn?

LinkedIn is a solid investment in its own right. With a 19% percent growth year over year (YOY), LinkedIn reportedly has 433 million users where two new members join every second (there were only 4500 members after its first month in 2003!). There are 106 million monthly unique visitors to the website and in the first quarter of 2016 there were 45 billion page views, up from 37 billion the previous quarter. But perhaps, more importantly, LinkedIn produces content and data about people. It knows where people work, their experiences, skills, interests, qualifications and what interest groups people share. This information is very crucial for Microsoft as it aims to understand its customers better. 

Product updates

This is definitely the most exciting part of the merger. Although there is no concrete news of any product updates, these would be some of the new stuffs we’re anticipating.

With LinkedIn, Microsoft’s productivity software will finally include the social network component, an important piece missing in its ecosystem. Think about things like LinkedIn’s graph interwoven throughout Outlook, Calendar, Active Directory, Office, Windows, Skype and more! Perhaps the most direct impact will be an enhanced Outlook interface which will contain insights from LinkedIn into the email experience. Outlook could even show recent updates or thought leadership bylines as talking points. With this integration, it helps attendees of meetings learn more about one another directly from invitations in their calendars. Cortana can also be brought into the picture as it browses through your LinkedIn network to provide you a quick brief about who’s attending your meeting.

To improve email productivity, Microsoft could also add email filtering to prioritize the thousands of emails we receive. To prevent junk, imagine if you could set certain criteria for your emails that you want to receive from – particular job title, industry and degrees of connections – to appear in your inbox until they receive your attention.

From an industry perspective, given the context of bigger networking opportunities and higher potential for change, the most affected industry would definitely be the enterprise. Herein lies LinkedIn’s full potential to truly innovate the way the world works, particularly when we talk about collaboration, corporate directory, productivity tools, business intelligence, etc for thousands of users. Apart from expanding networks, influence and opportunities, LinkedIn can also be used as a relationship management tool; the content of which Microsoft can use for cross-marketing purposes. Now, Microsoft will know customers better than ever.

New business opportunities

LinkedIn has recruiting and learning & development solutions in place, but this human capital area is a totally new area and a massive business opportunity for Microsoft. This is definitely one of the areas where Microsoft can tap on to further diversify its business.

Under Satya Nadella’s leadership, Microsoft is definitely gaining momentum in breaking out as one of the leading tech giants once again. Gone are the days where Microsoft is deemed as ‘uncool’ or ‘outdated’! As a customer, it is also a huge benefit to constantly receive updates on the products that you’ve invested in. It looks like things are only getting more exciting than ever!