Microsoft silently builds a social empire

With platforms like LinkedIn and Xbox Live, Microsoft has stealthily become somewhat of a social giant.

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Microsoft silently builds a social empire


The Future. With platforms like LinkedIn and Xbox Live, Microsoft has stealthily become somewhat of a social giant. It’s done so by focusing its efforts on platforms that provide niche usefulness while also supporting Microsoft’s other businesses. But, when given the opportunity to acquire a mainstream social service, Microsoft may still want to grab a piece of the creator pie.

Niche nexus
Under the cover of night, Microsoft has emerged as a social titan.

  • Under CEO Satya Nadella’s watch, the company has acquired or is operating diverse platforms like LinkedIn, GitHub, Minecraft, and Xbox Live.
  • These platforms fall under Microsoft’s “purpose-built” mandate, meaning that it focuses on platforms that concentrate on something specific like business development or gaming.

Each platform also feeds back into Microsoft’s core ecosystem, such as Azure (cloud computing) or Office (workplace tools).

Profit reinforcements

Most of these platforms are subscription-based (or at least have a premium option), and Microsoft has been able to leverage revenue to support products that… well… weren’t built to make money. For example, Microsoft reportedly sells Xbox consoles at a loss, but it makes up for it with strong sales of games on Xbox Live.

Still, Microsoft does have larger social ambitions. Last year, Microsoft was one of the many suitors to bid for a portion of TikTok while it underwent political chaos. It was beat out by Oracle and Walmart (in a deal that was never finalized), but it showed that Microsoft is willing to write a big check to enter the space if the opportunity presents itself.

David Vendrell

Born and raised a stone’s-throw away from the Everglades, David left the Florida swamp for the California desert. Over-caffeinated, he stares at his computer too long either writing the TFP newsletter or screenplays. He is repped by Anonymous Content.


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