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Linkoteca. LinkedIn

The software giant said Monday morning that it would acquire LinkedIn in a $26.2 billion cash deal. The acquisition, by far the largest in Microsoft’s history, unites two companies in different businesses: one a big maker of software tools, the other the largest business-oriented social networking site, with more than 400 million members globally.

LinkedIn could help Microsoft accelerate its shift to the internet by giving it a large online property that has became the de facto standard for posting résumés online. The site is heavily used by recruiters for finding new workers. Microsoft is one of LinkedIn’s biggest customers.

“The mission statements of LinkedIn and Microsoft have different words, but are essentially the same,” Mr. Weiner said. “We’ve come at it from different perspectives. LinkedIn built a professional network. Microsoft built a professional cloud.”