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When Microsoft, LinkedIn Rule Business Communications
UC watchers ask us to imagine what LinkedIn could become with Skype for Business at the ready.
Microsoft and LinkedIn sure did shake things up and give us plenty to think about on the future of communications, collaboration, cloud services, customer relationship management, corporate directories, enterprise social networking... what did I forget? I left something out, no doubt, since I'm still trying to wrap my brain around all of the potential promise -- and implications -- of the announced merger.
I assume most of you know of what I speak, but let me be doubly certain: Microsoft greeted us on Monday morning with news that it is acquiring LinkedIn for $26.2 billion, or $196 per share -- an all-cash transaction. That's big money by anybody's estimate, but especially so considering it represents a hefty premium on the $131 share price at which LinkedIn was trading at Friday's closing bell. Microsoft apparently wanted LinkedIn bad, real bad.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner, who will retain that role following the acquisition, painted a rosy future built around the companies' shared vision to empower enterprise professionals and organizations. What neither company could fully accomplish on its own they will now be able to do together by finessing the social network, cloud productivity and communications services, and customer management piece parts into an optimized, unparalleled whole.
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