There are two things Microsoft can do with LinkedIn. One is leave it alone. The other comes more naturally.
Microsoft’s $26.2 billion acquisition of LinkedIn seems like a stab in the dark; an effort to get Microsoft Dynamics 360 CRM off the ground by adding a social network. But really, it just kept Salesforce from buying LinkedIn.
For some reason I am a LinkedIn Premium user, despite the fact that I was skeptical of the whole idea when the product launched and I don’t currently get much out of it. I’ve never gotten a job or contract from LinkedIn, received a good lead or contact for a story or a column, or booked a public speaking engagement. One economic blip, and I’ll cancel the extra expense.
The so-called improvements the company keeps making, insofar as the interface is concerned, has never been an improvement at all. Earlier versions of the service made it quite easy to browse through your own network alphabetically in a casual manner, but now everything is awkwardly search-based.
There are two things Microsoft will most likely do to LinkedIn. The first would be to leave it alone, which—from what I can tell—will worsen the product. But Redmond could also come in and ruin the product with a few years of meddling, just as it did with everything from Nokia to WebTV.
So the likelihood of anything good coming from the LinkedIn buyout is improbable, at best. This, despite the fact that Satya Nadella is at the helm. The problem is the corporate culture, not the bosses.
If you do any research as to why Microsoft bought this company or what it expects to do with it, you’ll find a laundry list of ideas which will be reflected by Microsoft itself. In other words, nobody knows. The real reason still seems to me to be a useless, and expensive, potshot at Salesforce.
So what should users do? If LinkedIn is subject to the usual decay, it takes from one to three years. In the