As you may have heard, Microsoft announced today they are acquiring LinkedIn for $26.2 Billion in cash. It is Microsoft’s largest acquisition and one of the biggest tech mergers in history.
To speak on it, we’re happy to introduce the honorable Reverend Kyle Riesenbeck. He’s the host of the Rev VR Podcast and has been working closely with Microsoft on the HoloLens for quite some time.
Enter Reverend Kyle:
LinkedIn’s collection of over 400 million professional profiles might become the much needed addition to Microsoft’s arsenal in the battle for dominance of the AR/VR/MR universe. Oculus has Facebook as their social backbone, Valve has Steam, and now Microsoft will have LinkedIn. Some experts are saying that a strong social network is necessary for mainstream adoption to occur for this new virtual technology. Does this $26.2 billion dollar purchase set Microsoft’s HoloLens up to take advantage of LinkedIn’s powerful professional platform?
I have to admit, I was late to the LinkedIn game. Just two years ago, my colleagues were giving me a hard time because I didn’t have a LinkedIn profile. Why do I need one? What was the value to having yet another way for people to connect to me? I already had thousands of Facebook friends, and had dabbled in plenty of other social networks that provided me very little in return. What makes LinkedIn so valuable to a professional? Now, 500+ connections later, I understand.
LinkedIn isn’t concerned with how many online games I’m playing, or if I forgot to wish my cousin a Happy Birthday. LinkedIn is a professional network, focused on recruitment, and providing a way for companies to research potential hires before they even have their first interview.
As a person who was recently downsized and in desperate need of new employment, I was amazed at the response I got from a single, “I need a new job” post on my LinkedIn page. Within a few hours, I was bombarded with potential new employers, from all around the world. These were companies that already knew my skill set and capabilities, simply by viewing my LinkedIn profile and looking at my connections. Because of this, it took me less than 30 days to find new employment.
Microsoft is buying the social network that helped me find a job. Microsoft is also building HoloLens, an amazing mixed reality device that I am currently developing for. It seems reasonable that Microsoft could be leveraging LinkedIn’s massive interconnected web of professionals to develop a social infrastructure for their HoloLens platform.
Imagine a business meeting, where remote LinkedIn connections are holographically projected onto seats around your boardroom table. Recruitment, interviews, and even trainings could be coordinated and attended through a Hololens/LinkedIn experience. Your “Virtual Rolodex” of LinkedIn connections would be just an air click away using Microsoft’s HoloSkype software.
HoloLens and mixed reality might not immediately find their way into our homes and personal lives, but it is already showing massive potential as a strong enterprise tool. By adding LinkedIn as a social platform to stand on, Microsoft may have found a way to solidify their role in the formation of our virtual future.
Now, go update your LinkedIn profile, and share this article with your professional pals.