".... [T]he idea of a LinkedIn-infused Microsoft Word was very much in keeping with the flawed “Office Everywhere” strategy of Mr. Nadella’s predecessors, Steven A. Ballmer and, before him, Bill Gates. One of the hallmarks of the Gates-Ballmer years was the too-high priority accorded to new products closely tied to Windows and Office. That strategy invited antitrust suits, and it also helped prevent the company from creating new businesses wholly independent of the two cash cows.
"Until now, Mr. Nadella has actively eschewed that strategy and unwound many of his predecessors’ bad decisions. But I suspect that both Mr. Nadella and Mr. Weiner are afflicted with extremely bad cases of Facebook envy....."
This makes me wonder once again about Mr. Gates' relationship with his mother. Reportedly it was she who brought him up to be hyper-competitive. Perhaps it was also she who led him to believe that active, creative, industrious people want a nanny always looking over their shoulders.
"On June 13, the transaction was announced as one of the most expensive technology industry deals on record. According to Bloomberg, the purchase serves as a way for Microsoft to acquire social tools, as it has largely missed out on the consumer web boom that has been dominated by companies such as Google GOOGL -2.61% and Facebook FB -1.12% .
"In an interview with Bloomberg TV, Gates said, “this professional feed in LinkedIn, that is how I want to learn about my career, my company, my industry, and I’m going back there. If we can make that as valuable as the Facebook feed in the social world, that’s huge value creation and that’ll happen over a period of years.”
"Despite Gates’s excitement, some think that Microsoft paid too much to for LinkedIn. The company will need to either generate gigantic improvements in LinkedIn’s profits, or steer many millions of Linkedin customers to its own products, to make the deal a financial success."
In other words, from one point of view, this is yet another Nokia, a missed opportunity, an attempt to make up for it with sheer chutzpah.
From another point of view, LinkedIn is valuable not for its business but for its repository of personal information. That might be very useful for a very different Microsoft.