The rapidly evolving company wants to be the biggest provider of professional software services, to both enterprise customers and individuals.
The $26.2 billion all-cash deal announced Monday shows that Microsoft aims to compete head to head with the likes of Salesforce.com when it comes to enterprise services. (Salesforce's stock fell slightly on the news.)
"Think about taking that and connecting with a professional network and having the entirety of your professional life be enhanced and empowered, where you are acquiring new skills in your current job and finding a greater bigger next job," said Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, in a video press release.
In a note to employees, LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner said: "Essentially, we're both trying to do the same thing but coming at it from two different places: For LinkedIn, it's the professional network, and for Microsoft, the professional cloud."