Why the Microsoft/LinkedIn marriage? It's all about enterprise

Why is Microsoft buying LinkedIn? As is often the case with the company from Redmond, Washington, it's all about the enterprise.

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."

Becoming a part of Microsoft gives LinkedIn "massive scaling" with access to 1 billion customers. With Linkedin's data about its customers there's the opportunity to remake traditional office productivity tools like corporate directories, collaboration tools and business intelligence, Weiner said in the note.

For Microsoft, LinkedIn's customer base helps it deepen its reach into enterprise, with any number of opportunities to to sell software and services.