Microsoft announced today that it is buying the business world’s favorite social media website LinkedIn for $26.2 billion at $196 per share. That’s a big deal in today’s age of mergers and acquisitions – a tech giant owning one of the largest social media platforms on the web.
It makes a lot of sense too. Chances are if you’re running a business, you have Microsoft Office on your computer and you have a LinkedIn account. Whether you use Word to type out letters and reports, Excel for accounting and spreadsheets, or PowerPoint for presentations and pitches, Microsoft already has a firm grasp on how you run your company. Now they have a say in how you network online too.
I can see it now, and you can probably see this from a mile away– LinkedIn integration in Microsoft Office, and vice versa.
Watch me naively predict the future: in the next release of Microsoft Office (I’m guessing will be subscription based like Adobe Create Suite, a low-monthly fee and you have the latest version of Office for life), they’ll have a one-button share option for LinkedIn, or a LinkedIn tab.
If you’re a heavy LinkedIn user, this may not be a bad thing. Hell, it might even improve your company’s workflow. Microsoft may give office management apps and website a run for their money. Share working documents with your co-workers LinkedIn accounts, no more Slack accounts needed. Publish interactive PowerPoint Presentations on LinkedIn for anyone to view, no 3rd party websites like SlideShare for us LinkedIn users anymore. LinkedIn apps will come default on your next version of Windows, and annoying animated widgets for that. Cortana will probably get in on the action too.
I wouldn’t be surprised if soon you can sign it to LinkedIn with your Microsoft account. Not only will this create the opportunity to integrate Office into LinkedIn, but watch Skype, OneDrive, and Bing features pop up in your LinkedIn feed.
I could go on and on, but all in all this is great news for LinkedIn: their shares have jumped 48% in one day due to the news, they’ll get more exposure with Microsoft backing them, and they’ll be able to expand their product with all new features. This is even better news for Microsoft – another pool of data to collect.