Well it kinda came out of nowhere, but we think its great!
Here are 7 amazing things that could come from Microsoft's LinkedIn acquisition.
1) Outlook.com powers clunky LinkedIn mail. LinkedIn mail is known to be clunky with errors on various devices, and bare unfamiliar features like "enter to send". Bringing in the smarts of outlook.com could add familiarity and cut development costs.
2) LinkedIn Pulse (customised newsfeed) can help direct people to Microsoft office products to fulfil tasks.
3) Bing can replace LinkedIn's inferior search process. How many times have you been introduced to someone, only to never find them on LinkedIn because there are 20 John Watsons in your area. Bing's superior search technology can power LinkedIn to make finding people easier. Bing can also now serve LinkedIn pulse results within its search engine in realtime, especially for professionals perusing its news section.
4) LinkedIn video, powered by Skype. Often the most logical next step after an initial email with a new LinkedIn contact is a video call. Today this means leaving the LinkedIn platform to hit a Google hangout or Skype call. Skype can now power LinkedIn video calls.
5) LinkedIn PPC Ads can be improved. Microsoft is now a legitimate player in the social space. This will open countless opportunities for them in the online advertising space. LinkedIn's platform has been criticised for high CPCs and low returns. Microsoft can bring additional 1st and 3rd party data to make LinkedIn Ads work much harder and get great results. Also, opting in to LinkedIn ads on its expanded network can now include Microsoft sites at better rates and more targeted control.
6) Middle fingers up to the Goo - Sure Google owns YouTube, the worlds second biggest search engine, but it lacks a more general purpose social channel that incorporates all rich formats e.g image, text, video, articles etc. Microsoft now owns LinkedIn which happily accommodates all formats, opening media distribution opportunities. It's an important feather in any web giants cap. Bet the Goo wished that Google Plus thing would have worked out a bit better.
7) Microsoft now own Lynda (training platform) through its LinkedIn acquisition. This could not be a more perfect marriage between training and Microsofts office suite which is the main avenue for rehearsal of concepts taught. Just one more method of steering people away from the free Google Docs products.