Microsoft has announced it is to acquire the popular professional networking site – LinkedIn for over $26 billion in cash.

The company has said that LinkedIn with its 430 million members will continue as usual and will “retain its distinct brand, culture and independence”.

The deal is by far the software giant’s largest acquisition with other takeovers including Minecraft for $2.5 billion in 2014 and Skype for $8.5 billion back in 2011. This move will enhance Microsoft’s offering to businesses which includes a range of productivity and communication tools.

It’ll be interesting to see if and how Microsoft begins integrating LinkedIn’s social networking features, as well as its job listing and search capabilities into its software and online services, especially the Office 365 cloud-based software suite.

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