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Microsoft Folds Yammer Enterprise into Office 365 for Kiosks

Microsoft on Tuesday announced that one of its Office 365 kiosk-style plans, Office 365 "Enterprise K1," will now have enterprise social networking capabilities via Yammer Enterprise.

Previously, organizations on the Office 365 Enterprise K1 plan had to an pay extra $3 per user per month for the standalone Yammer Enterprise.

Microsoft has two kiosk-style Office 365 plans designed for environments where computers get shared by personnel. The Enterprise K1 plan (at $4 per user per month) includes e-mail, spam filtering, anti-malware protection, Exchange ActiveSync support for mobile devices, access to SharePoint Online sites and access Office Online (the browser-based versions of Microsoft Office apps). And now the Enterprise K1 plan also includes Yammer Enterprise at no extra charge.

The second plan, called the "Kiosk" plan (at $2 per user per month), has the same features as the K1 plan, except that it lacks Yammer Enterprise, access to SharePoint Online and access to Office Online.

Yammer Enterprise is a wholly cloud-based app that Microsoft developed based on its Yammer acquisition about two years ago. Microsoft plans to develop its future social networking products based on Yammer, going forward, rather than on its similar SharePoint feature.

Most Office 365 plans come with a Yammer service. Exceptions include the Office 365 Business plan and the Office 365 ProPlus Enterprise plan, according to this comparison chart. Yammer Enterprise is also available for larger organizations via a Microsoft Enterprise Agreement.

There's also a free Yammer Basic service, but it lacks certain IT management controls. For instance, the Basic plan lacks network configuration controls, integration with SharePoint and 24/7 support, and more, as outlined in this Microsoft whitepaper.

It's possible to get a free trial of Yammer Enterprise by trying out an Office 365 E3 plan. After the trial ends, Yammer Enterprise reverts to the Yammer Basic version, according to Microsoft's FAQ on the topic.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.