- Whether it's enterprise data from Office 365 or member data from LinkedIn, Microsoft only serves as "custodians of that data," said CEO Satya Nadella, speaking via video conference at the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo in Orlando.
- Looking to assuage concerns about Microsoft's planned acquisition of LinkedIn, which would give the company access to vast troves of data, Nadella said, "We never have data. We only have data if somebody allows us to have that data and to add value."
- Whether it's used for hiring, marketing, training or selling, LinkedIn offers a two-sided market, Nadella said. "Therein lies natural market integration performance. We will obviously be able to integrate what LinkedIn has, again with permission by the user or the IT administrator."
Since the $26.2 billion blockbuster deal was announced — the largest acquisition Microsoft has ever made — businesses and consumers alike have asked what Microsoft's plans are with all that data. In particular, with heightened sensitivity to privacy, there were some concerns that Microsoft's data access could become invasive.
But the company insists that the acquisition is geared around what it calls the "natural" points of integration. A note on a calendar could include LinkedIn profile information on the individual in the meeting or allow for a more tailored news feed around people in a user's business network.
Those points of integration will not be exclusive to Microsoft, Nadella said, and will instead "be available to anyone."
Microsoft is quickly gaining the approval necessary to make its LinkedIn acquisition official. The company recently filed for antitrust approval from the European Union, which it has already received from the U.S., Brazil and Canada. But Salesforce is not as happy about the deal. Instead, the company has expressed concern over Microsoft's data access. In turn, LinkedIn is reportedly making concessions to companies to help ease the deal.