Microsoft Goes Social with $26.2B LinkedIn Purchase

Microsoft announced on Monday it plans to buy LinkedIn for US$26.2 billion. The deal is Satya Nadella's biggest since taking over as Microsoft CEO, and it's the biggest corporate buyout to date. For Microsoft, the deal makes sense because professional business tool are a big part of the company, and LinkedIn is all about bringing business professionals together.

LinkedIn joins team MicrosoftLinkedIn joins team Microsoft

The boards of both companies unanimously approved the deal which is expected to wrap up later this year. Mr. Nadella said,

The LinkedIn team has grown a fantastic business centered on connecting the world's professionals. 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.

His statement shows exactly why this is a smart move for Microsoft, regardless of how LinkIn's users feel about the deal. Microsoft has a portfolio of tools for business communication, collaboration, and customer and contact management. LinkedIn has the tools for tracking professional contacts and colleagues, co-workers, and job leads. The company also owns, the big name in online training.

Mashing Microsoft and LinkedIn together creates an ecosystem where every aspect of your business life can be cataloged, cross referenced, and mined for information. That a powerful mix for Microsoft, and something the company sees as extremely valuable.

LinkedIn will maintain its independence, brand, and culture, according to Microsoft. CEO Jeff Weiner reporting directly to Mr. Nadella.

That independence doesn't, however, mean LinkedIn and Microsoft's products will stay segregated. The real value for Microsoft in the buyout is in tying together its own user data and LinkedIn's user data.

The companies are holding a press event just ahead of Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference keynote, and LinkedIn cancelled its WWDC livestream party this morning. It's almost like Microsoft wants to steal away Apple's thunder today. Considering Microsoft just announced the biggest corporate buyout, Apple better have some pretty big news to share.