Posted on: January 11, 2017

It’s been just over six months since the news came through that Microsoft would be acquiring LinkedIn. At the time of the June 13th announcement, Microsoft was hopeful that they would be able to close the deal by the end of 2016 – and they did it! Early last month, the European Commission finally cleared the acquisition, allowing the deal to close before the year came to an end. 

It wasn’t an easy battle for Microsoft to win. Some opponents argued that the acquisition of LinkedIn would simply make Microsoft too powerful, decreasing or even stifling competition in the CRM market. In order to obtain approval from the European Commission (the executive body for the European Union), Microsoft had to prove that competition in the region would not be snuffed out. To do this, Microsoft put its emphasis on software rather than data. In doing so, it committed itself to several items throughout the next five years:

First, Microsoft has asserted that it will continue to make its Office Add-in program fully available to any third-party, professional social networking services so that LinkedIn will not have a monopoly in these areas. This is important, because the Add-in program makes it possible for developers to integrate services, not platforms like Outlook, Word, PowerPoint, and Excel, which creates improved and enhanced user experiences. Even as improvements are made, Microsoft is committed to offering the program to third-party, professional social networks.

Next, any promotional opportunities that exist in the Office Store will continue to be made available to third-party, professional social networking services, rather than providing these opportunities exclusively to LinkedIn.

Microsoft also vows to take proper measures to ensure that IT admins and users alike will be able to customize their Office experience by making decisions based on whether or not they’d like to display the LinkedIn profile/activity information that will likely be integrated in the future into their own user interface.

In the event that LinkedIn applications or tiles are developed for Windows PCs, PC manufacturers will have the option to decline the installation of these apps or tiles on their Windows PCs in the European Economic Area. Users in these areas will also have the ability to uninstall these applications or tiles at will. In this way, users are not forced into installing LinkedIn applications for Microsoft’s own gain.

And finally, Microsoft promises that, within the European Economic Area, they will not enter into any agreements with PC manufacturers for the pre-installation of LinkedIn applications or tiles that would favor LinkedIn to exclusion, thereby inhibiting the distribution of other similar, professional social networking services. 

It was only through lengthy talks and negotiations that these commitments have been made, and we are excited about the terms of the agreement. Microsoft, once again, shows its dedication to industry integrity and leadership, while still seeing through with the merger of two incredible companies so that users can maximize their experience and grow as professionals. 

LinkedIn – which is now actually Microsoft – is even better than ever before, and users can expect further improvements as time marches on. LinkedIn Sales Navigator is now available for both Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics, which allows for numerous, invaluable opportunities for growth and improvement in corporate sales efforts. While Microsoft users will always have the option to use other professional social networking platforms, they will enjoy an improved experience with one of the most widely used of its kind – Microsoft LinkedIn.

A smooth and seamless acquisition and transition is only the beginning of great things to come. Stay current with what’s going on with the newly acquired Microsoft LinkedIn by checking back for future blog posts. In the meantime, feel free to learn more by contacting the professionals here at Uncommon Solutions.