"Developers, from analytics to machine learning to Cortana, will want to access the LinkedIn API. Adding new, person-based insights to existing applications is a strong incentive."
Implications to customers
When the deal closes within the calendar year, Williams believes maintaining the trust and participation of the LinkedIn members is the greatest risk and potential reward for Microsoft in this acquisition.
"Microsoft will own the platform on which thousands of communities and relationships are formed and grown," he explained. "Limiting or validating how personal data is used will be the key."
For Williams, all uses of the data must, in the end, be useful to the members who volunteer and maintain their profiles and engagement.
"So long as Microsoft abides by the spirit of LinkedIn as a personal professional social network, it can use that data to add value to other offers," he added.
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