Microsoft has made it official this morning that it is going to spend $26.2 billion to acquire professional social media platform LinkedIn. As soon as this news buzzed in the media, LinkedIn shares witnessed a 47 percent surge to near $196 per share, while the stocks of Microsoft melted down by 3.2 percent.
As per the latest reports, soon after the acquisition, Jeff Weiner will stay on as CEO of LinkedIn and will report to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella directly. The deal was unanimously approved by both companies boards, and is expected to close by the end of this year. The acquisition is still subjected to approval by LinkedIn shareholders and regulators. However, reports suggest that their approval will surely be positive on paper, as the price of the deal is very much tempting.
Jeff Weiner has also sent a special internal email to his company’s employees hinting that little is expected to change as employees will have the same titles and managers.
However, for those LinkedIn staff whose job was to maintain LinkedIn status as a publicly traded company, Microsoft will help them get to the next shore.
According to a reliable source, Microsoft is also planning to buy Salesforce.com as a cloud play. Analysts feel that the Redmond giant has the right resources, cash, and the balance sheet to make it happen by next month.
Coming back to the topic; for those who are interested in knowing the actual reason behind Microsoft buying LinkedIn for $27 billion?
Here’s what Nadella replied in his latest social media post-
LinkedIn is a professional social media giant with more than 433 million members as data base and 2 million paid subscribers. Though, Microsoft has succeeded in almost all online services, it never made its mark in social media business. After acquisition, LinkedIn is said to provide immediate access to more than 433 million members and a solid social graph that is matched closely with the software and services provided by Microsoft.
Washington based Microsoft plans to merge its 1. 2 billion Office user base with LinkedIn to create a central professional profile integrated to its apps such as Outlook, Skype, Office. The attained user base will turn LinkedIn profiles into a central identity, and the news feed into an intelligent stream of data that will connect professionals to each other through shared meeting, notes and email activity. Microsoft is also planning to integrate its Cortana with LinkedIn by September this year to provide context on people you might be meeting professionally.
But LinkedIn still has a reputation for being a spam machine, and recent password dumps have dented its security credentials to picture deep. So, Microsoft first needs to clear up both of these problems if it wants LinkedIn to be taken even more seriously by businesses.
Strategically speaking, LinkedIn is a different beast, and many outsiders will be watching closely and patiently to see exactly how well Microsoft integrates the social network into everything the company provides for businesses.
Hope, the investment makes sense in every way.
What if you get an email from Microsoft which says to update your Skype ID on your LinkedIn profile as a mandatory step to continue with the service………….?