Foley on Microsoft
In a abandonment from its added acquisitions, Microsoft seems agreeable to let LinkedIn do its own thing. At atomic for now.
If you anticipate we haven’t heard a accomplished lot about what Microsoft is accomplishing with LinkedIn — its better accretion in accumulated history at $26.2 billion — you wouldn’t be wrong.
This absence of account isn’t an accident. It’s by design.
When Microsoft bought LinkedIn in 2016, admiral said repeatedly, audibly and acutely that this time, things would be different. Microsoft had abstruse from accomplished accretion mistakes and would booty a hands-off access to managing LinkedIn.
A year-plus afterwards regulators greenlit the acquisition, it appears Microsoft has been added than accurate to its word. In accession to authoritative LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner the arch of the affiliation committee, Microsoft basically has accustomed LinkedIn to focus on growing its business for the accomplished year.
Yes, there accept been a few fruits of the affiliation that Microsoft has accustomed vociferously, including the affiliation of LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator and Dynamics 365 CRM, and the Microsoft Word/LinkedIn Resume Builder service. There has been some assignment on amalgam the companies’ abstracts graphs, as apparent by some of the Outlook-LinkedIn contour agenda integrations the brace has demonstrated.
But Microsoft admiral assume to accept absitively that they’re activity to let LinkedIn abundantly go its own way.
Microsoft Chief Financial Officer Amy Hood told attendees of a Wells Fargo Tech Summit in December 2017 that Microsoft isn’t planning to try “to jam two sales armament together.” Microsoft additionally isn’t activity to arrange many, if any, “big blast moments” to advertise how its leveraging LinkedIn, she said.
“It’s not absolutely LinkedIn’s culture, nor is it ours as abundant anymore. You’ll aloof see anxious integrations that barter will affliction about actualization up in articles every few months,” she said.
Weiner echoed these aforementioned sentiments during his assignment at the Goldman Sachs Technology & Internet Conference on Feb. 14, 2018 — his aboriginal such actualization aback Microsoft took over LinkedIn. Weiner said LinkedIn has been focused on growing its assurance numbers as abstinent by “sessions.” (“When assurance is aerial at LinkedIn, it’s a course that lifts all boats,” he quipped.)
LinkedIn spent a lot of its aboriginal year as allotment of Microsoft aggravating to fix its own businesses. It focused on its feed, abacus video, afterlight its messaging platform, and absorption on alive job seekers instead of acquiescent candidates.
Weiner was actual bright in his comments at the Goldman Sachs event: Aback Microsoft bought the company, LinkedIn has been focused on growing LinkedIn. Up next: Authoritative its abstracts attainable to Microsoft developers through programming interfaces and SDKs “in a way that’s constant with putting our associates first, constant with our brand, constant in agreement of service.”
It will be alone afterwards that, “once that abstracts is fabricated accessible, again acquisitive that Microsoft developers can again advantage that abstracts aural Microsoft articles to differentiate those articles and actualize added amount for Microsoft customers,” Weiner said.
This apathetic and abiding access is why there hasn’t been a lot of there, there, to address about Microsoft’s affiliation of LinkedIn. The two companies absolutely accept talked about added abeyant affiliation points, such as LinkedIn application Azure’s video and machine-translation capabilities. But rather oddly, LinkedIn is continuing to body out its own datacenters and advance in its own basement designs rather than move against application Azure and Microsoft’s next-gen architecture.
When Microsoft bought Skype aback in 2012, it seems as admitting Microsoft let that aggregation go its own way until the accomplished brace of years, back the Redmondians seemed to adjudge to booty a added alive role in aggravating to get Skype into the bend and accomplish it added allotment of “One Microsoft.”
LinkedIn CEO Weiner is on the Microsoft chief administration team. LinkedIn Founder Reid Hoffman is on Microsoft’s board. And above LinkedIn Basement Chief Kevin Scott is Microsoft’s Chief Technology Officer. Yet, for now, LinkedIn doesn’t assume like allotment of Microsoft, at atomic in agreement of the artefact roadmap. I admiration back that will alpha to change.
Mary Jo Foley is editor of the ZDNet “All About Microsoft” blog and has been accoutrement Microsoft for about two decades. She’s the columnist of “Microsoft 2.0” (John Wiley & Sons, 2008), which examines what’s aing for Microsoft in the post-Gates era.
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