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With LinkedIn, Microsoft looks to get back to the heart of the enterprise

Sharon Gaudin | June 14, 2016
LinkedIn users shouldn’t see immediate changes, analysts say, but Microsoft app users may.

What will this mean for LinkedIn's millions of professional users is, at this point, unclear.

Microsoft has said LinkedIn will continue to operate as a separate entity.

If that is the case, LinkedIn users shouldn't see much change to their profiles or relationships.

However, for Microsoft users, they're likely to see LinkedIn integrated into their business apps.

"I expect Microsoft will integrate LinkedIn into Windows, unless regulators block it," said Jeff Kagan, an independent industry analyst. "This would be a natural process."

Olds agreed that he doesn't see any major impact on LinkedIn users "in the short or even medium term," he said. "I don't see Microsoft doing much of anything to interfere with a model that's currently working well. We might see some advertising sneaking its way into the product in various places, plus more and different membership options as well, but no sweeping changes."

Olds also noted that he doesn't see LinkedIn users being freaked out that Microsoft will soon have access to all of their information and professional contacts.

"I don't think Microsoft is seen as the same evil company they might have seemed like back in the 1990's," he said. "All Microsoft really wants to do is sell software and a little bit of advertising -- not rule the world, a la Google. I don't think that most users will have a problem with Microsoft having the kind of personal information they'd post on LinkedIn."

 

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