Microsoft has laid down a cool $1.2 billion forenterprise-focused social network Yammer.
The deal will see Microsoft ramp up its social computing efforts across productivity products including Office, SharePoint, Dynamics and Skype.
Yammer is a closed social network for enterprises that facilitates communication between employees. It launched in 2008 and boasts more than 5 million users (including employees at 85 percent of the Fortune 500). The service is often described as a “Facebook for business.”
Microsoft has said it will use Yammer’s technology to power collaboration experiences in Office 365 in the future, adding social features -- similar to those found in Google Docs -- to the software.
“I picture people being able to use Yammer to manage and expand their professional relationships, share and collaborate on Office documents, stay informed about content updates, and to seamlessly move from status updates and feeds into voice and video conversations,” said Kurt DelBene, president of the Microsoft Office Division, in a blog post.
Google has been hard at work integrating social collaboration features to its online office suite. The internet giant recently updated its social network Google+ to include screen sharing so people could collaborate on Google Docs while communicating via video Hangouts.
According to Forrester Research social enterprise apps are expected to become a $6.4 billion market by 2016.