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Satya Nadella On TikTok, Pinterest Interest: Microsoft Will Continue To Invest in Consumer Businesses

Donna Goodison

‘There’s partner opportunity, whether it’s retailers or others, in those businesses, and we’ll always continue to look even for the intersection between B2B2C,’ Nadella says.

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In the wake of Microsoft’s failed attempts to add TikTok to its portfolio—and reports that it also pursued a Pinterest acquisition—CEO Satya Nadella said the technology giant will continue to invest in and grow its consumer business base.

Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft last year acknowledged it was in discussions with ByteDance, TikTok’s Chinese parent company, to purchase the video-sharing app’s U.S. operations, but in September said that ByteDance had nixed a deal. There have been subsequent reports that Microsoft also has targeted $52 billion image-sharing social media site Pinterest and the Discord voice, video and text platform that’s popular with gamers as acquisitions to increase its consumer offerings.

“Today, we have a very thriving consumer business,” Nadella told CRN when asked about Microsoft’s interest in TikTok and Pinterest. “We run the largest gaming social network in Xbox Live. We have a consumer social network called LinkedIn with nearly 740 million members. We have many other successful consumer brands like our Surface brand. We have now close to 50 million subscribers of [Microsoft] 365 consumer. We’re excited about our consumer businesses, and we’ll continue to invest in them, grow them.”

[RELATED: Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella’s Plan To Unlock ‘Trillions Of Dollars’ In Partner Opportunity]

Xbox Live is Microsoft’s gaming network that connects millions of gamers globally. Microsoft purchased LinkedIn, the online professional networking site, in a $26.2 billion deal in 2016. Microsoft 365, formally referred to as Office 365, is the company’s productivity suite that includes Word, Excel and PowerPoint.

“There’s partner opportunity, whether it’s retailers or others, in those businesses, and we’ll always continue to look even for the intersection between B2B2C [business to business to consumer],” Nadella said. “That’s kind of the unique aspects of Microsoft.”

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