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Microsoft Finalizes Yammer Acquisition

Yammer is now part of Microsoft's Office Division, Microsoft said on Thursday.

The closing conditions for buying Yammer have been completed, said Jared Spataro, senior director of the Microsoft Office Division, in a blog post. It was a rapid process; Microsoft announced only last month that it was planning to acquire the enterprise social networking company for $1.2 billion in cash.

At the time the planned deal was announced, senior Microsoft officials said that Yammer's technology may be integrated into products such as Microsoft Office, Office 365, Dynamics CRM and the Skype voice-over-IP service. Microsoft bought Skype a year ago for a reported $8.5 billion. A spokesperson for Yammer clarified that by e-mail that "Yammer already offers integration with SharePoint and Dynamics. Over time, we will offer more connection to Microsoft products including Office 365 and Skype."

Yammer CEO David Sacks announced Thursday in a blog post that "the transaction is complete and Yammer is now part of the Microsoft Office Division." He's continuing to head the Yammer team, based in San Francisco, as a Microsoft corporate vice president. It's not clear if the whole team is moving over.

Yammer's business model of offering a free social networking app to office workers, with an upsell to IT departments that addresses corporate compliance concerns, apparently will continue as in the past.

"Under Microsoft, Yammer will remain a stand-alone product with a freemium business model," Sacks explained in his blog post. "We will maintain our focus on simplicity, innovation and cross-platform experiences and, over time, you will see more connections to SharePoint, Office 365, Dynamics and Skype. We will share more details about the joint product roadmap in the fall."

Microsoft just announced previews of its Office 365 service and well as various 2013-branded products, such as Office 2013 and SharePoint 2013. Jeff Teper, corporate vice president of SharePoint, recently indicated that Yammer's social networking capabilities would be integrated in SharePoint 2013 after the Yammer deal closes.

Microsoft thus far hasn't publicly announced when its 2013-branded products will hit the market. Veteran Microsoft reporter Mary Jo Foley's sources have suggested that the release-to-manufacturing date of Office 2013 (code-named Office "15") may occur before the end of this year, possibly in November.

Yammer is continuing with its existing service for customers. It's also continuing to offer its social networking technology for integration with third-party applications, according to the Yammer spokesperson.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is online news editor for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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