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Tuesday, 19th June 2012 Please login top-right to be able to star items

Abstract

Beware of discussing unannounced business deals in public, especially in the age of social networking: as reported by Information Week, the news of Microsoft’s impending acquisition of social networking firm Yammer was overheard by somebody in a San Francisco coffee shop. The rumour spread like wild-fire and has been the topic of discussion in the business pages and on the web ever since.

Item

Beware of discussing unannounced business deals in public, especially in the age of social networking: as reported by Information Week, the news of Microsoft’s impending acquisition of social networking firm Yammer was overheard by somebody in a San Francisco coffee shop. The rumour spread like wild-fire and has been the topic of discussion in the business pages and on the web ever since.

As yet unconfirmed by either side, Microsoft is said to be paying anything between $1 billion and $1.6 billion for Yammer’s cloud-based social networking and content collaboration tool aimed at businesses and marks its largest purchase since the acquisition of Skype a year ago.

An announcement is expected within days. As several commentators have pointed out, haven’t we moved a long way from social networking being a fun tool for teenagers and students to being used by corporations as their means of communication? The Seattle Times quotes a consultant specialising in all things Microsoft, who believes that enterprise social networking will soon be as ubiquitous as email.

Microsoft is seen by some as lagging behind in combining social tools with its business collaboration products. It does own SharePoint, but this does not have a community feature. There has been some surprise that Microsoft has not gone after NewsGator, which has as its flagship tool a product called Social Sites, a social business software that is integrated with SharePoint.

Maybe the attraction to Yammer is its similar feel to Facebook, down to the blue masthead, the list of user groups on the left of the page and all newsfeeds down the middle. However, Yammer also has features that compete with some of Saleforce’s offerings, as reported by Tim Buckley-Owen here.

Now the industry is wondering what Microsoft will do with Yammer. Will it be submerged into the mighty corporation or allow to stand independently? Hang around a West Coast coffee shop for long enough and you may find out.

 

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