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Microsoft buys Yammer in $1.2bn cash deal

Redmond looks for social networking skills

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The rumors were true: Microsoft has acquired business social networking firm Yammer in a 1.2bn cash deal announced on Monday.

"The acquisition of Yammer adds best-in-class enterprise social networking to Microsoft’s growing portfolio of complementary cloud services; world-class talent that knows how to deliver rapid innovation in the cloud; and a unique adoption model that appeals directly to end users," said Redmond in a statement.

Yammer, a messaging and microblog network with a lot of customers in the top end of enterprise, has a market Microsoft needs. Redmond has traditionally been shy of social networking, but Yammer could be a useful tool in to integrate into Windows 8 and other platforms.

A press conference is scheduled for later in the day with comments from Steve Ballmer, and no details have yet been released about the deal or how Yammer will be integrated into the Microsoft portfolio.

"The combination of Yammer, SharePoint and Office 365 will provide the most comprehensive and flexible solutions for enterprise social networking. Over time, I see opportunity for exciting new scenarios by adding Yammer’s stand-alone service alongside and integrated into our collaboration offerings with SharePoint, Office 365, Dynamics and Skype," said Kurt DelBene, president of Microsoft's Office Division.

The buy will be another win for Facebook cofounders Sean Parker and Peter Thiel. Both men got in early on Yammer and will now enjoy yet another transfer of Microsoft dollars to their bank accounts. ®

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