Microsoft buys LinkedIn: how will it affect designers?
Microsoft has recently announced that it has bought LinkedIn for a hefty amount of money: $26.2 billion. It looks like Microsoft will not interfere with LinkedIn’s company culture, though, and – surprisingly! – LinkedIn’s top management team will not change at all. Satya Nadella talks about integrating its professional cloud services with LinkedIn’s professional network, in an email addressed to Microsoft’s emplyees.
So why has Microsoft taken this decision? Recode lists three reasons why that may have happened. Several industry analysts think that Microsoft is at a stage where it is doing its best to diversify its assets, and having access to LinkedIn’s huge database will help it attract more people towards its own products and services.
But how will this transaction affect designers? If you have problems trying to get new business because cold calls and leads are… cold, Microsoft’s new acquisition may simplify the process of turning a cold lead into a warm one. My guess is that the software giant will find a clever way of incorporating LinkedIn’s database into Windows 10, and then sell access to the data for a decent annual fee – probably lower that LinkedIn’s current prices. Sure, LinkedIn offers several premium packages, but they all make use of the same powerful database.
If Microsoft decides to go this route, this means that you could find information about potential clients (and even other designers you may want to partner with) from within Windows itself. Simply click the “Start” button, and then type in your lead’s name. A small page would open, displaying detailed info that was taken straight from your lead’s LinkedIn profile.
Of course, Microsoft could go even further, creating highly targeted lead lists according to your keyword input, and thus putting most of the lead sellers out of business. It’s a daring move, that’s for sure, but it’s one that has the potential to be very profitable in the long run, according to Data Alliance’s CEO, George Hardesty.
Marc Schenker thinks that Microsoft wants to integrate LinkedIn’s data straight into Office 365, thus adding more value to the Office suite. It’s an entirely possible scenario, even though if this happens, Microsoft’s profits will not grow that fast. It may be one of the best strategies for the future, though.