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Microsoft to acquire LinkedIn for $26bn

Microsoft is taking over LinkedIn, with boosts to its Dynamics and Office 365 businesses expected

Microsoft is acquiring business-focused social networking site LinkedIn for just over $26bn, in a deal that will help grow Microsoft’s Office 365 and Dynamics businesses.

In an email to staff, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said the two companies “are in pursuit of a common mission centered on empowering people and organisations”.

“Along with the new growth in our Office 365 commercial and Dynamics businesses, this deal is key to our bold ambition to reinvent productivity and business processes,” he added.

LinkedIn will retain its brand and Jeff Weiner will remain CEO of the company.

LinkedIn has reported success over the past year following the launch of a new mobile app, the acquisition of online learning platform Lynda.com, and a new version of its product aimed at recruiters. 

It has also reported a 19% growth in members over the past year, and now has 433 million worldwide. During the same period there was more than 100% growth in active job listings – which exceeded seven million.

“The LinkedIn team has grown a fantastic business centered on connecting the world’s professionals,” said Nadella. “Together we can accelerate the growth of LinkedIn, as well as Microsoft Office 365 and Dynamics, as we seek to empower every person and organisation on the planet.”

Weiner added: “Just as we have changed the way the world connects to opportunity, this relationship with Microsoft, and the combination of their cloud and LinkedIn’s network, now gives us a chance to also change the way the world works.

“For the past 13 years, we’ve been uniquely positioned to connect professionals to make them more productive and successful, and I’m looking forward to leading our team through the next chapter of our story.”

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A buyout was probably inevitable after LI's stock tanked in response to their recent ill-advised, uniformly-criticized, so-called "upgrade." Now MS brings its own less-than-stellar record of communications and consumer relations even as it gains access to a trove of private, highly personal LI profiles.

Won't it be fun to watch the adventures of LinkedIn Clippy as we await the all new LinkedIn Vista....
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Since I was one the of the ones burned by Windows Live, I wondering how long it will be before I get burned by Microsoft and this.
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