Microsoft buys Yammer for US$1.2bn

The social networking service for businesses is now in Microsoft's pocket, and could soon be in its software too.

Microsoft is buying Yammer in an effort to boost its social networking credentials. The software giant has agreed to pay US$1.2bn for the service.

Best described as a social network for office workers, it offers Facebook-style features within the confines of a business group to foster collaboration – Ford and Deloitte are two big names already using it.

This latest deal follows Microsoft's purchase of Skype last year, and gives Microsoft a new weapon in its growing software arsenal. Adding social capabilites could allow it to boost some of the company’s big earners such as Office and  business collaboration software Sharepoint.

The four-year-old Yammer plans to continue operating as previously, though it looks like we could be seeing it pop up in other Microsoft products soon.

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