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Report: Microsoft To Acquire Social Network Yammer

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined
as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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Reports say Microsoft will acquire the ‘Facebook of the workplace’ for $1.2 billion

Microsoft is reportedly closing in on the acquisition of professional social network provider Yammer for $1.2 billion (£770m).

The Wall Street Journal suggested that the takeover may be an attempt to plug holes in its Office software, amidst potential increased competition from the now Google-owned QuickOffice.

It remains unclear when the deal will be completed or announced, however.

MC Yammer

Yammer, launched in 2008, claims to offer a secure, private social network for companies and has been dubbed ‘Facebook for the workplace‘. It has more than four million users and is used by more than 200,000 companies, including 80 percent of those in the Fortune 500.

Forty percent of these are located in EMEA, and Yammer has chosen Silicon Roundabout in East London as the home of its European headquarters.

Yammer has already integrated with Microsoft SharePoint and announced plans for a Windows Phone application to give it greater access to enterprises which already use Microsoft technology.

“Many employees at the junior (and now senior) end of the workforce live aspects of their personal lives through Facebook and Twitter, so the idea of introducing similar kinds of tools into the workplace seems to make sense from a communication and collaboration point of view,” said Richard Edwards, principal analyst at Ovum. “It’s not just Microsoft eyeing-up the opportunities afforded by the Facebook-led social paradigm shift. Established enterprise IT vendors, such as IBM, Oracle,, and SAP, are all busy adding social capabilities to their business software solutions.”

“Microsoft already has a product that touts social capabilities – SharePoint Server, but this was designed and built in the pre-Facebook, pre-cloud era,” he added. “Launched in 2008, Yammer is a new breed of enterprise collaboration solution, designed from the ground-up to exploit social, mobile, and cloud technologies, and would sit neatly alongside Skype, the communication product that Microsoft acquired this time last year for $8.5billion.”

Microsoft had not responded to requests for comment at the time of writing.

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