For patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus, management of hyperglycemia is typically complex, and few patients successfully achieve and maintain recommended targets for glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c). Increasingly, combination therapy is recommended early in the disease course, or even directly at diagnosis in patients with relatively high HbA1c levels. A recent randomized, placebo-controlled, Phase III trial investigated the initial combination of linagliptin and metformin in patients with inadequate glycemic control to assess the benefits of initial combination compared with monotherapy. Linagliptin and metformin act in complementary ways, and the combination treatment showed superior efficacy compared with either monotherapy. Notably, responses were largest in patients with higher baseline HbA1c levels compared with moderate levels, suggesting this combination could be considered in these patients. This may be particularly relevant for those unwilling to start insulin because they prefer oral therapy or need to avoid body weight gain. Neither metformin nor linagliptin is associated with weight gain, and in this trial the combination was also weight neutral. As this combination therapy was well tolerated, with a low frequency of hypoglycemia, these findings suggest that initial combination of linagliptin plus metformin may have advantages for a large proportion of patients in clinical practice.