Monday, June 13, 2016

Microsoft Makes Its Move

Microsoft's $26.2 billion acquisition of LinkedIn aptly reveals the strategy of CEO Satya Nadella for the software titan.

The focus is on business and enterprise. There is no longer much value to the operating system business where the company famously made its fortune and built its reputation - Google and open source developers give that away for free, and Microsoft has been forced to follow suite with Windows 10. But there is hug value in Microsoft's Office business, and it has quietly been acquiring apps such as Sunrise and Wunderlist which comoete with features in its outdated Outlook platform.

Indeed, I use LinkedIn for contacts, Wunderlist for Tasks and have pretty much given up on ever getting a decent calendar app that I can access on all my devices.

So, Microsoft is doubling up cleverly and is seeking to become the cloud enablers for comoanies big and small. You also have to factor in some of LinkedIn's acquisitions such as Slideshow, Pulse and Lynda.com.

Execution will be tough - Nadella is trying not only trying to turn around a supertanker, he's trying go turn it into a fleet of speedboats. We deal a lot with Microsoft at TV Everywhere (our main platforms are largely hosted on Azure) and it's clear that the will is there and, in my opinion, they are a far better bet for business than Amazon or Google and their megalomania.

But there remain gaps in the Microsoft strategy, especially around video, and units such as MSN and X-Bix may be wondering what future there is for them in this brave new world (oh to roll those divisions up with Yahoo! Into a new super publisher...).