Microsoft buys Yammer: What’s the deal?

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Microsoft is to acquire Yammer in a deal worth $1.2bn in cash. The private social networking developer will become part of the Microsoft Office Division, the concept being that the collaborative tool will integrate with Office products.

Characterised as “Facebook for the workplace”, Yammer gives companies a web platform for their employees to share ideas via a free version or an enterprise upgrade. In recent years it has proved to be a serious competitor to Microsoft’s more cumbersome Sharepoint web publishing portal. According to MyCustomer.com’s analysis, Yammer has gained an 85% share among Fortune 500 companies.

Yammer will continue as a stand-alone service but will link into Microsoft’s SharePoint, Office365, Dynamics and Skype applications over time, said Yammer founder David Sacks in a blog post.

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