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Microsoft To Buy Yammer? 73

An anonymous reader writes "Microsoft seems to have a pocketful of billions sitting around. First Skype, now Yammer – an enterprise social network service launched back in September 2008 that looks almost like Facebook minus the title bars. According to Bloomberg, the deal could reach up to a billion dollars. To date, Yammer claims 200,000 companies which include more than 400 of the 500 Fortune companies. One reason for the purchase may stem from their social-like Sharepoint platform which has been a lost cause to solutions by and Oracle."
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Microsoft To Buy Yammer?

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  • Why? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 14, 2012 @08:15PM (#40330407)
    My employer tried Yammer, then installed Sharepoint. Nobody used Yammer after Sharepoint became available, and not many use Sharepoint now. People don't tend to post drivel about work like they do about their personal lives.
    • by Taco Cowboy ( 5327 ) on Thursday June 14, 2012 @08:25PM (#40330471) Journal

      I like Sci Fi, and have read a lot of Sci Fi books.

      A story was about the future world where the global economy being controlled by a handful of super-corporations, and some even launched attacks (military style attacks) on each others' installations

      When I look at the rate tech giants snatching up all the promising upstarts, I just can't shake the impression that this world we live in might _just_ be moving towards the story above that I read many moons ago

      Comparing to the acquisition / mergers of the brick and mortar industry, the tech industry and the bio industry's A/M is super fierce and super fast pace

      I shiver when thinking of how many upstarts would remain independent after the dust settles - and it's important because, if the tech giants decide NOT to cooperate with each others, then the internet that we are using may just be split apart into incompatible segments

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        I don't think that the acquisition/mergers of tech companies are anything to worry about, its just another bubble. What I imagine is happening is:

        High-Ranking manager: I've heard that X buzzword is the next big thing (the cloud, social networking, etc.) what do we have that is in X buzzword?

        Tech-Manager: Well, we have Y product but you disbanded that team...

        High-Ranking manager: no problem, get me a list of the leading innovators in X and we'll buy one of them

        And that dystopia won't happen
        • by Taco Cowboy ( 5327 ) on Thursday June 14, 2012 @10:35PM (#40331311) Journal

          I am not as confident as you that super-corporation will be in it for only "profit" motive

          The temptation of having a firm control over something is very great - and profit will almost always follow whoever having a monopoly over a sizeable segment of paying audience - whether it be online, bio-tech or even in food-resourcing

          • by jbov ( 2202938 ) on Friday June 15, 2012 @02:11AM (#40332285)

            I agree with Taco Cowboy. This happens at much smaller levels in business.

            An e-commerce site I work on started selling a certain brand of dog harness. They were doing well. When the major retailer in that industry found out, they priced the same harness so low that they lose money on every single order. Why would they do that? Well, they have enough money to sell the product at a loss long enough to put the small mom & pop site out of business. Then, they can raise the price again.

            The most common example that most people in the US have seen is with gas stations. There is a small locally owned gas station in a great spot with frequent traffic. When the large chains see this great location, they build a huge gas station and convenience store right next to the mom and pop shop. They sell the gasoline at a loss, but still profit from the items in their convenience store. The small locally owned station cannot afford to sell gas at a loss. So, either they go out of business from trying to match the price, or they go out of business from losing sales. Once the locally owned station closes, the big boys raise their prices.

            Of course, sometimes the big chain gas station and c-store will offer to buy the locally owned station for far under market value. If the small store declines, they force them to close with the above method.

            Control is everything.

        • But you see, while your argument is true in many cases, there are circumstances where I have paid for a thing or supported a corporation for reasons completely de-coupled from my living standards. Case in point: Greeting cards. Paying $5 for a folded piece waxed cardboard with a cartoon and glib statement printed on it. My standard of living is unchanged and I am $5 more out of pocket because I have been emotionally blackmailed into taking part in an engineered social convention. Other cases: Bundled cabl
        • by gl4ss ( 559668 )

          that dystopia also already happened, like 400 years ago.

      • That wasn't sci fi, it was the Onion,551/ []
    • Re:Why? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by hairyfeet ( 841228 ) <> on Friday June 15, 2012 @02:26AM (#40332341) Journal

      Did you miss the memo? Even Forbes pointed out what a piss poor CEO Ballmer is. Just look at the money he flushed down the crapper on Zune and kin, his idea of "leadership" is to buy something "kinda sorta" similar to something that was hip and then flush MORE cash flopping it around before giving up and letting it die.

      Lets face it, other than the X360 (which nobody is even sure if they have made back all the cash they've blown and are really into the black on it, as you'd have to figure in the cash blown on XBox 1 and the 2 billion RROD fiasco) and Win 7 which if the rumors are true was basically left alone by Ballmer while he was busy with kin, Zune, and trying to buy yahoo the man's track record just stinks. Hell you could probably have a monkey throw shit at a stock page and end up with a better ROI than what the Ballminator has done with a decade at the fricking company. if it wasn't for the cash cows of Windows X86 and Office they'd be half dead already and it looks like Ballmer is taking a dump on one of those sacred cows because nobody wants a WinPhone and he won't rest until MSFT has put out a piss poor knockoff of every single thing Apple has done.

      So the fact he's gonna blow another billion on a company he won't know fuck all what to do with? really doesn't surprise me at this point. I'd have to say he's giving the Pepsi guy at Apple a serious run for his money in the "Hey lets take a successful company and torpedo it!" dept. Seriously board how much damned longer are you gonna let that moron wipe his ass with money? hell does he even HAVE a strategy? Or is he like Dilbert's PHB merely playing buzzword bingo?

    • Perhaps your employer is doing it wrong. We're getting a lot of business-related groups and discussions in Yammer, and we're finding that people are less hesitant to engage on this medium, and do so quicker and more often, compared to the internal message boards we used to have. But those communities in Yammer need to be nurtured or they will likely fail, just like on the message boards.

      By the way, the low threshold and informal "feel" of Yammer means that you do get more non-business related chit chat
    • But, they should (Score:5, Interesting)

      by brunes69 ( 86786 ) <slashdot.keirstead@org> on Friday June 15, 2012 @07:22AM (#40333435) Homepage

      The whole point of enterprise social platforms is too TRY to get people to post drivel about work.

      When you are a Fortune 500 company with hundreds of thousands of employees worldwide, who operate in silos and rarely communicate among eachother, communication platforms can be a huge boon to your company. They let people informally share knowledge that can directly impact your bottom line. If an employee in NYC has a non-time-sensitive issue with an application, maybe instead of calling the company help desk they can just post a question in a forum, and someone else in Malaysia who is just getting their morning coffee takes 5 seconds to answer it - boom, the person got their answer faster, and with less stress, and you just saved money. The multiplicative effect of that, if properly embraced, can be enormous.

      The whole problem with these platforms, however, is they are usually not implemented properly. You can't just throw up a social platform on the intranet portal and expect 10/20/30 years of in-grained culture to change - there has to be initiatives driven from the top down to encourage employees to use the platform and educate them on why it is better both for them and the company.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    It's one of the few double digit growth products in Microsoft's portfolio.

  • Perfect Fit (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    For what it does, Yammer is awe-strikingly unreliable. You either have to use a web page that a few years ago was able to update itself with new messages via javascript but now fails several times per day (remember to hit reload button at least every 15 minutes if you don't want to miss something important), or you can use an app which requires some bizarre Adobe (?!) dependency and often uses 100% of a core in order to occasionally poll the server for new messages.

    if Microsoft does this, they'll be buying

    • There is one good thing about it - you don't need to set up another bleeding service.

    • Yammer sounds like the German word for sorrow. The word's actually spelled jammer [], but the Germans usually pronounce their "J" as "Y". There's bound to be lots of puns about this in the German tech press.
    • I too find the Yammer clients pretty terrible. For a less CPU heavy, and less annoying experience, I've started using Yoono [] for connecting to Yammer, as a Chrome extension.
  • A lost cause? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    SharePoint is a billion dollar business. And the fastest growing product of Microsofts Portfolio. So a lost cause uh?

    • SharePoint is a billion dollar business. And the fastest growing product of Microsofts Portfolio. So a lost cause uh?

      Well, SharePoint is only about document management, not commuciations in general; and even in document management it is pretty poor. In the few instances I've worked with it and its ilk (e.g. LiveLink) at major companies, I've never been able to find anything I needed because nothing was organized and the search was horrendous.

      You'd ask someone where something was, and they'd just point you back to it without any guidance on where in it the document was actually located. As a result, there would be multi

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Damni it! Microsoft. Stop beating around bush. If you want to beat Apple and Google, buy Facebook.

    • by Sir_Sri ( 199544 )

      They owned about 2% of facebook or something. I don't know if they sold or not. That might be why they're looking at this. So much percent of the investment portfolio is in social media, and they don't really want to own some small fraction percent of voting power of a competitor.

    • Facebook was (and still is) massively overvalued. If Microsoft wants Facebook its best to wait until it falls to a price that more accurately reflects the price that there's little to no potential growth, can be easily struck down by silly regulations (if the EU now requires a warning for cookies which can easily be disabled and controlled via the browser, what's next for data that isn't that easily controlled?) and has only a billion in revenue.
      • If you disable third-party cookies, Verified by Visa and whatever the Mastercard equivalent is no longer work. That is one example, which took me a while to track down and fix; there are probably others, and there is no error message to tell you that a third-party cookie has been blocked, so there's no obvious way of finding out what's happening.

  • What's the point? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Darkness404 ( 1287218 ) on Thursday June 14, 2012 @09:04PM (#40330771)
    What's the point in buying all these startups? I really don't see that it works out much in the end. Is it about patents? I simply don't see the justification to buy startups that are here today and gone tomorrow. Rather than spending billions to buy current competitors, why not pump those same billions into improving existing products. For every startup that produces lots of useful things, there seems to be ten that do nothing but cost cash because either the buying company does nothing with it or the innovations that the company that was acquired are technically meaningless.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      You buy them up so your godless heathen competitors can't. The business you save (from falling into their clutches) today might one day be your own.

      • But established competitors such as Microsoft, Apple and Google have way more infrastructure, talent, and cash to make it work out better in the end. Assuming the established competitor has a similar product to the startup, there are usually only minor reasons why people prefer the startup and it would generally cheaper to improve your product than to buy a startup and integrate it with your product.
        • They have way more infrastructure and cash. They don't have more talent, or, if they have, they don't allow such talent to show itself. Big corporations are about putting everybody inside a process, so you can manage them. And you can't put talents inside a process.

          So, I guess the answer to the GP's question is that they need to buy startups because they are disfunctional.

    • Re:What's the point? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Jason Levine ( 196982 ) on Thursday June 14, 2012 @09:17PM (#40330863) Homepage

      I think part of it is:

      - Startup comes up with interesting idea, sees growth in business.
      - Big Corp sees startup's success and thinks "I want a piece of that action."
      - Big Corp buys Startup.
      - Big Corp sees growth due to Startup.

      So far so good, until either:

      - Big Corp decides to alter Startup to "make it better fit into our corporate structure."
      - Users flee Startup as it looks like boring Big Corp site.
      - Big Corp scratches head in wonderment as to why Startup is a failure, kills Startup.
      - Big Corp looks for another startup to buy.


      - Big Corp doesn't give Startup resources/leeway to grow.
      - Startup is overtaken by other startups.
      - Big Corp scratches head in wonderment as to why Startup is a failure, kills Startup.
      - Big Corp looks for another startup to buy.

    • by Sloppy ( 14984 )

      What's the point in buying all these startups?

      The writers wanted a new villain. Seriously, would you have so anxiously tuned into the Season 4 premiere, had the Season 3 cliffhanger had just been, "Oh no, the Romulans kidnapped Picard and now we're about to fight the Super-Warbird?"

  • But doesn't Balmer already work there? Or are they buying it so they can explain him? Something that goes with his personality? As I'm typing this - this shows up below... []

  • by cberetz ( 317673 ) on Friday June 15, 2012 @01:06AM (#40331997) Homepage

    Contrary to the claim of the blurb, Salesforce Chatter integrates into Sharepoint. I am a Salesforce emp and we have plenty of customer references I'd be happy to bring out.

  • by aaaaaaargh! ( 1150173 ) on Friday June 15, 2012 @05:07AM (#40332925)

    Dear folks at Microsoft and everywhere else,

    I'm truly sorry but I really cannot put all my personal data on dozens of different "social networks", because I do not even have the time to keep my professional webpage up to date.

    Tip: Try inventing something new and exciting.



  • Microsoft Innovation, a ship without a rudder. That they have to go out and buy such 'innovation` merely demonstrates the paucity of any real innovation at One Microsoft Way ...

    pauÂciÂty/ËpÃsitÄ"/ Noun: The presence of something only in small or insufficient quantities or amounts; scarcity.

Q: How many IBM CPU's does it take to execute a job? A: Four; three to hold it down, and one to rip its head off.