Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella announced it to his employees in this company-wide email, and LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner did the same with his employees: they announced that Microsoft is acquiring LinkedIn for $26.2 billion in a pure cash transaction.
Here’s a short (1:43) video of Nadella and Weiner in a Microsoft-produced interview where they talk about the acquisition:
The video ends with the two companies’ mission statements:
And they are:
- LinkedIn: To connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful.
- Microsoft: To empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.
They’re pretty similar, and if LinkedIn and Microsoft’s really follow (or at least act as if they’re following) their respective mission statements, then the acquisition makes sense: these are two companies chasing roughly the same goal, one via productivity software and cloud services, and one via social networking. Jeff Weiner said pretty much the same thing in this interview with TIME: “Essentially, we’re both trying to do the same thing but coming at it from two different places.”
Here’s my summary of who gets what in this deal. Keep in mind that I’m an opinionated developer evangelist and not a professional industry analyst. Take this with the appropriately-sized grain of salt:
- LinkedIn will eventually be hosted on Azure, giving Microsoft another success story they can point to when trying to convince people to host their stuff on their cloud platform.
- Office gets LinkedIn’s social graph, which will likely be tied into various services:
- Finding people: Active Directory, Bing
- Communicating: Outlook, Skype/Skype for Business
- Coordination people: Outlook, Project, Dynamics
- A new source of data points for Cortana
- The number one slideware, PowerPoint, gets tied into the number one way to share slides online, SlideShare.
- LinkedIn gets the resources of a parent with plenty in the bank, which is a relief after the beating investors gave it earlier this year
- Microsoft hopes to strengthen its ties with the working world, which has been looking to other places for solutions
Professional Microsoft watcher Mary Jo Foley points to the above image from Microsoft, and says that the two companies’ graphs are disjoint, and putting them together into a unified dataset opens a world of opportunities.
One interesting side effect of the acquisition: LinkedIn’s “WWDC Watching Party” — a gathering where people could get together to watch Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference on big screens at LinkedIn’s San Francisco office — was cancelled. What’s still on is the Microsoft WWDC afterparty, held next door to WWDC, where they’re offering free food and drinks, and showing off their Xamarin IDE and Test Cloud, two recently-acquired Microsoft products that they’re hoping to get iOS developers to start using.