It’s almost a week since Microsoft announced the acquisition of LinkedIN with one of the most daring and secret moves in the digital industry for $ 26 billions. Satya Nadella, Microsoft CEO, quickly told the press that LinkedIN will keep its brand and corporate identity, its culture and independence as well as its CEO Jeff Weiner. Many observers have been surprised by this move, also because Microsoft already acquired Yammer (a corporate social network) years ago and because of the impressive amount of the final bid.
Microsoft adds one more important product in its wide range offer for the corporate customers: Azure, Office 365 (with Yammer) and the CRM software Dynamics making a strategic move into the professional segment and acquiring a 400 million users social network like LinkedIN with a live news and contents streaming that hasn’t relevant competitors on the market. LinkedIN, on its side, accepted an impressive offer and quickly stepped away from a stale situation with a 8,4 million dollars loss in the last 2015 quarter and opened up several future opportunities for the development of the product and the community.
Meanwhile tough competitors like Facebook have already stepped in the professional segment with Facebook at Work designed to meet the professional community needs and following a well established strategy that aims to cover all the segments (considering that Facebook for many users actually replaced the web, assumed that many digital users access contents only through the Menlo Park platform).
There’s a challenging match to be played in the future, and Microsoft move could be smart as the Skype acquisition was, when the Redmond company didn’t listen to those who criticized the move and carried on one of the most rewarding operations of last years. Who knows if the Redmond company is thinking back to the missed past opportunities to buy LinkedIN like Mashable showed in recent articles: years ago Microsoft could acquire LinkedIN for only 1,5 billion dollars.
Better late than ever, man.