I awoke one day in early June to learn that Microsoft bought LinkedIn. I will tell you the news surprised me a little. I’m not sure why my initial reaction was surprise, however as the news settled in I came to grips with my surprise.
For several years we have become used to Microsoft doing things that surprised us in a bad way. Creating products that were blatantly past their time to shine, the Zune for example. Or announcing new operating system interfaces that nobody wanted, Windows 8. I’ve sadly watched as Microsoft went from cutting edge, to copycat (I know many will argue they were copy cats from the beginning), to creator of products that were just plain awful.
Then they did something that seemed smart. They purchased a company that will bring to them all of their most important customers, in a way that is so intimate it’s scary. The leading provider of software (and now services, hello Office 365) to professionals all over the world, now has the keys to those very professionals online “social” network.
I love Apple, I love all of the online cloud tool providers out there, but I believe a strong energized Microsoft is important. It’s nice to see Microsoft doing cool things again, it’s really nice to see them doing interesting things again.