Microsoft announced today that it has entered into an agreement
with Yammer, a social
network for the enterprise, to acquire the latter for $1.2
billion. Yammer will become part of Microsoft's Office
Division, led by Division President Kurt DelBene, though the team
will continue to report to Yammer's current CEO David Sacks.
Yammer allows businesses to create a private network for their
employees, and offers free as well as paid pricing plans. If your
company has a Yammer network, you need a valid company email
address to sign up for Yammer.
Launched in 2008, the 4-year-old social network already has a
5-million-strong user base. Yammer says employees of a total of
over 200,000 companies and 85% of the Fortune 500 companies use the
Microsoft plans to integrate parts of Yammer's technology into
its existing enterprise communication and collaboration products
such as SharePoint, Skype, Office 365 and Dynamics (and possibly
vice-versa.) At the same time, Microsoft has committed to continue
to develop Yammer as a standalone and cross-platform service.
Here is an excerpt from Microsoft's press release:
"The acquisition of Yammer underscores our
commitment to deliver technology that businesses need and people
love," said Steve Ballmer, CEO, Microsoft. "Yammer adds a
best-in-class enterprise social networking service to Microsoft's
growing portfolio of complementary cloud services."
Update: The closing conditions
were met and the deal was
completed on 19th July.
Image credit: Microsoft News Center (modified)