LinkedIn's database of about 433 million users isn't to be sniffed at, and Microsoft could benefit hugely from its $26.2bn acquisition of the social network for professionals.
But that all depends on how the company integrates LinkedIn with its existing products and services. Microsoft will hope that the purchase fares better than those of Skype, Yammer and, of course, Nokia. But the company needs at least some of the following to happen if it wants to achieve this goal.
5. Build a savvier personal assistant
Aside from the usual comparisons with Siri and Google Now, there are a host of new personal assistant applications all claiming to use artificial intelligence. And, apart from the underlying technology, one of the main factors that can make one app better than another is the amount of data at its disposal.
Cortana could become incredibly useful with LinkedIn's database. If the software knows you have a meeting in your Outlook calendar, it could give you information about the people in that meeting so you know how to approach it.
This could be a detailed dossier which, of course, offers relevant information from the contact's LinkedIn profile, and about your mutual connections, groups and interests, to ensure the ice breaks easily and conversation flows.
Add in other data that Cortana has been trying to grab from Windows 10 users, and that dossier could become more useful than anything a private investigator could put together, let alone a human PA.
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