Microsoft’s stock has been on a tear over the past couple of months.
The company is up more than 20% over the last year, its best performance since 2010.
On Wednesday, Microsoft announced its next round of deals, a new cloud service and its plan to buy LinkedIn.
Here’s what you need to know about what’s going on with the company.
Microsoft’s cloud plan is a huge deal and the biggest of the company’s big announcements of the year.
The deal is expected to boost sales of Azure, Microsoft’s online-only cloud service.
That’s not enough for many investors, but Microsoft says it will pay LinkedIn a record $1 billion upfront payment, plus a further $150 million in cash.
The bulk of the cash will come from a new, 30-year, $3.5 billion contract with Oracle.
(Oracle says it also paid $300 million in severance.)
Microsoft is hoping the new deal will keep LinkedIn afloat for the long haul.
It says it wants to “make cloud computing a viable business for businesses of all sizes, from small and medium-sized businesses to large and multi-national enterprises.”
That’s a big statement considering that most of Microsoft’s revenue comes from the PC market.
LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner has been pushing hard to sell his company to Microsoft, as it has a bigger share of the cloud market than any other tech company.
The two companies have been fighting a long battle over which company can offer a cloud solution to users.
Microsoft has been trying to convince LinkedIn that it’s a superior cloud solution, and it’s hoping to get more than it got.
But the company isn’t getting much help from Weiner.
LinkedIn said Thursday that it has no intention of selling its shares and that Weiner’s recent efforts to persuade LinkedIn to sell are “misguided.”
The company’s share price has declined more than 40% this year, and the price it paid for LinkedIn shares is up $250 million over the same period.
Microsoft also announced its plans to buy Fis, another cloud company.
Fis is a competitor to LinkedIn’s Azure, but it’s the biggest cloud provider on the planet.
FIS has also been battling Microsoft for years, and Fis CEO Tim O’Reilly recently said that Microsoft has become an “unacceptable” competitor.
Fides has also tried to convince Microsoft that it can make Azure more attractive to companies.
Microsoft doesn’t have a good track record with cloud companies.
Firms like Amazon and Google have been able to convince customers to install their own software and manage their own data.
Microsoft isn’t offering any of that for Fis.
Microsoft wants to give companies like Fis and Fides the ability to sell their own products to customers, and that means that Fis has to start selling its own products.
Microsoft is betting on Azure.
That seems like a big deal, but the company says that it won’t sell Azure as a separate company.
Instead, it’s going to merge its own cloud services into Azure.
Microsoft says that the new Azure is designed to “improve the customer experience and help the company accelerate its expansion in the cloud, enabling the company to deliver cloud-ready products and services faster.”
Microsoft says its cloud services will include “the world’s leading cloud storage, analytics and discovery solutions, including Office 365, Exchange Online, and Dynamics 365.”
LinkedIn has already made a number of moves to lure Microsoft.
It announced plans to create a new company called “LinkedIn Enterprise,” which it says will be based in Seattle and “bring LinkedIn’s vision for cloud computing to customers in a variety of industries.”
That announcement comes just days after LinkedIn said it would acquire Jet.com, an online-delivery service that offers free shipping on orders made through its platform.
Microsoft will make the purchase of LinkedIn public on Thursday.
But LinkedIn is holding off on that announcement, which could put pressure on its shares.
A big part of the reason is that Microsoft says a lot of the information about the deal is confidential.
But, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal, the information on the deal will include the price the company paid for its shares, as well as details about what it will do with the cash it expects to receive.
The LinkedIn acquisition isn’t just about Azure.
As part of that deal, LinkedIn says it plans to invest $500 million in its existing cloud services.
The investment is part of a $1.1 billion buyout of its cloud division, which includes a new version of its Outlook email client and more than $300,000 in cloud services, according the Journal.
The new services include “a new version” of Outlook, a cloud-based chat app and a new email client called Wordstream.
Microsoft plans to use the money it gets from the acquisition to pay down its debt, and to refinance its debt.
The WSJ report says that Microsoft plans for the new money to go toward