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I don’t want to be LinkedIn with Microsoft

Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols | June 14, 2016
Microsoft buying LinkedIn makes good sense — for Microsoft. I’m not so sure about LinkedIn users.

Ah, but I do have a problem with something else. I don’t trust Microsoft with my data.

This is not a knee-jerk reaction. I no longer think Microsoft is the “Evil Empire.” In fact, I think Microsoft is well on its way to becoming an open-source company. Also, while I don’t like how Microsoft is shoving Windows 10 down people’s throats, I actually like the latest version of the operating system. What’s more, I expect Microsoft to do a better job with security than LinkedIn did. Well, who couldn’t do better than that four-year-long security breach foul-up?

That said, I don’t want Microsoft to have full access to my business networking data. Privacy may be an old-fashioned idea these days, but at least with LinkedIn, I was sharing my information with a company that only did social networking. Microsoft wants to be the be-all and end-all of technology.

I’m not cool with this, and I’m not the only one.

Many people in technology fields simply don’t trust Microsoft. That’s especially true of people in Linux and open source. As Christine Hall of FOSSForce commented, “It’s touting an ‘Intelligent News Feed’ that will evidently be tailored to the user’s LinkedIn network, incorporating Cortana which will ‘know your entire professional network to connect dots on your behalf’ (how will that work for GNU/Linux users, I wonder).”

I know the answer to that one! It won’t.

What really bothers me the most, though, isn’t the lack of desktop Linux support. It’s the “know your entire professional network part.” I’d like to connect my own dots, thank you very much. Or, at least, use a system that’s dedicated to business networking rather than selling Microsoft services and products.

With a thousand-plus LinkedIn connections, I’m not eager to leave it — yet. But if LinkedIn becomes too enmeshed in Microsoft-specific services, I’ll start looking elsewhere. And I won’t be alone.

 

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