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back to article Ballmer welcomes Yammer to the Microsoft family

Microsoft has finally tied the knot with enterprise social networker Yammer, and in a press call following the announcement, Steve Ballmer laid out the future for Redmond's newest recruit. "Yammer will be a fundamental part of the Office family," a "thrilled" Steve Ballmer said, adding that it would become a core addition of …

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Yammer will be a perfect fit.

And since, at least as I use it, yammer, has quite negative connotations, just like Windows [$version].

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Paris Hilton

negative connotations

It sounds like it should be a company from 2005 selling crappy ringtones, with shitty late night TV ads. If you went out surveyed people "Have you heard of Yammer?" and gave them the option of a business social network or a ringtone merchant, its the one most would pick I am sure of it!

Paris because she's into yammering.

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Yummer will be a big Balmer

No matter what MSFT does I hope they will die.

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FAIL

Re: Yummer will be a big Balmer

that's so logical.

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Anonymous Coward

"....a "thrilled" Steve Ballmer said..."

I can't be the only one with 'Get on Your Feet' stuck in their head now, can I?

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$1.2 Bn worth of meh.

Seriously how on earth does MS value companies?

Whoever does it should be fired and sued for the cost of all their recent acquisitions.

New start up strategy - come up with something pointlessly web 2.0 that Balmer will want after his daily chair smashing session.

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Anonymous Coward

If you can't innovate, acquire

Typical Microsoft.

Also, anything that's been acquired by Microsoft inevitably turns into a steaming pile of turd. It is already happening to Skype. Before Microsoft's acquisition, Skype was a pleasant experience. After Microsoft's acquisition... well.. just go check out the complaints on the Skype support forums.

Telling the truth like it is is not hate.

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Re: If you can't innovate, acquire

To be fair to MS, Skype was getting worse and worse before MS bought them. However MS definitely haven't improved anything in any way since the purchase but they haven't really had that much time to tackle it... However is MS terms, the changes will likely involve bodging MSN into it, rebranding it five times (must include "live" and "zune" somewhere in the brand changes) and then finally getting to pretending that it's an integrated (barely) component of MS Office.

I'd see Yammer going the same way, except that it's far less used than Skype and the revenue stream opportunities look even more unlikely.

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Coat

Re: If you can't innovate, acquire

Visio and Sybase SQL were quite good acquisitions. They still work.

Skype has been going downhill since 3.8x which a good bit before MS bought it. So I still run 3.8x after testing the later versions on other PCs.

It' seems actually that Vista and especially win7 has result in a rash of poor compatibility Upgrades. Paint Shop Pro? Also very often moving from XP to Win7 you have to BUY a new version of the SW you already have so as to be able to run on Win7.

So the problem is Windows Development generally, not particularly what MS do with acquisitions. But I agree, I think Skype and Yammer are a waste of money for them.

Mines the one with Linux Distro in the pocket

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Boffin

Re: If you can't innovate, acquire

Sybase SQL was not an acquisition ... that shows how much you know on that subject, mate ... sorry ... Mage.

Excel was the best acquisition MS ever made ...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: If you can't innovate, acquire

"Typical Microsoft"

Also, typical Google. But its okay when they do it, cos, uh, Google!

Now, off with the rose-tinted spectacles. Skype was no bed of roses before ebay purchased them, and they still weren't when MS purchased them. They're just mediocre, always have been and always will be. In that respect they're a perfect match for their new owners.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: If you can't innovate, acquire

Balls - Skype sucked donkey dick in the high street every day at 12 noon for a long time before Microsoft acquired them.

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Re: If you can't innovate, acquire

The problem here is, Skype really invented something. Purchasing them has put Microsoft and their stupid partner Nokia to "hit list" of trillion dollar phone industry but it is another matter. (read Ahonen blog)

Wtf is yammer?

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FAIL

Re: If you can't innovate, acquire

I thought DOS was MS's best acquisition. Certainly their first.

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My opinion

Some of the recent purchases of pretty average sites / services have been talking crazy talk when it comes to numbers. Ballmer must just be sat there looking like a giant baby saying I want that one! You can't Steve it's been valued at a bazillion. I want it and I want it now! Ok then you can have it...

Seriously though, it's turning into the football transfers. Every company is looking to buy the magic wand that changes their future for the better. What happened to focusing on improving what you have got and making it better. If they had said to they were to pump those billions into improvement programmes they wouldn't have built Vista, they would have realised that chugging along with a mobile operating system is like trying to row a boat up stairs when IOS and Android are stood at the top pissing on you.

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Anonymous Coward

How could something like Yammer be worth $1.2-billion!?

I already mentioned my disbelief about the lunacy of this Microsoft acquisition in the comments section of an earlier Register article about this back when the possibility of Microsoft acquiring Yammer was still a rumor, but I am still shaking my head in disbelief about this whole thing and asking myself "WTF?" The reason why I am so taken back by this isn't the fact that Microsoft bought Yammer, but that Yammer had somehow become worth $1.2-billion.

As I mentioned in my comment to the previous article, at a company that I previously worked at one of my bosses was always enamored by whatever the latest trendy social networking service of the week was. Sometime in late 2008 or early 2009, mere months after the Yammer service was first launched at the TechCrunch50 conference, my boss heard about it and forced our entire department to use it. When I first saw the Yammer desktop application back then I thought that it was the most redundant piece of nonsense that I had ever seen. Why? Because at the time it was basically only a Twitter-like micro-blogging service, with the only difference being that it put the question "What are you working on?" in front of its input text-box. This really irked me because I didn't see why anybody thought this was so special or God forbid, actually innovative somehow. Everything from Twitter to web forums to Facebook walls have text boxes where you can type in what you are currently working on, amongst other things if you feel like it. There is nothing stopping you from doing that. You could have used at least a dozen different platforms that could have essentially replicated what Yammer did, even at the time. Heck, you could develop such a micro-blogging system internally in your organization with PHP and MySQL (or your particular language/DB combination of your choice) with a single programmer and a week's time if you wanted to. Yammer's sole "innovation" was that they put the question, "What are you working on?" in front of that input text box, and that suddenly made it an "enterprise collaboration application" that won awards. Really? It's so hard to type in what you are currently working on in a form's textbox without that question explicitly being written there?

Now to be fair, Yammer has increased the amount of features and abilities that it offers with its service since when I first used it right after it's launch in late 2008/ early 2009, but even so, how does a simple micro-blogging service like that ever become worth $1.2-billion? That's the same amount that Hewlett-Packard spent in 2010 to buy Palm, Inc. How is Yammer of all things worth as much as Palm, a company that made both software and real physical products, when it was acquired? In 2009, Rackable Systems was able to buy Silicon Graphics, Inc., a computer company that produced real physical products like workstations, servers, and supercomputers, for a mere $25-million. How in the heck is Yammer worth 48-times as much as Silicon Graphics, Inc., was? And Google was able to buy the company Android, Inc. and its mobile operating system "Android" in 2005 for only $50-million, and somehow Yammer is worth 24-times more than that! Has the world gone mad? How could something as simplistic as Yammer ever have become worth more than those other acquired companies? I think that I am developing a brain aneurysm just trying to wrap my head around this!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: How could something like Yammer be worth $1.2-billion!?

You're looking at it the wrong way round.

Yammer has an expansive userbase of actual paying customers and, get this, a recurring revenue stream. They aren't just another web 2.0 mediocrity, as much as you dislike them. Compare to Instagram for an actual business 2.0 plan involving no money and nothing useful and a hefty valuation.

Their innovation wasn't "what are you working on?" it is "how about you pay us to tell your co-workers what you're working on".

You could probably kludge together a PHP alternative (but I bet you it wouldn't scale, because you have no idea of the volume of data that these people have to shift) but it wouldn't ever be worth a billion bucks because you're on here whining instead of out there making and selling new products and services that people are actually willing to buy.

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Headmaster

"very unique"

As opposed to entirely unique, slightly unique, or perhaps even unique-ish.

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Meh

The valuation baffles me too but if a company is prepared to pay $1.2 Billion for Yammer, then it is actually worth that amount because it sold for that amount. Is it value for money? Only time will tell.

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Some translations for the identical sounding Dutch word 'jammer' (j sounds like y)

pity, unfortunate, regrettable

I wonder how the propose marketing their baby in the low countries?

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Anonymous Coward

It is a strange name even in its native tongue... after all, it basically means incessant irritating and worthless speech or whining. Whilst it is an essentially honest name for the service it provides, it isn't the best brand they could have developed.

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Mushroom

Yammalangadingdong

that's all I have to say ... except "clear your desk Ballmer, you cretin"

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First we had Twitter

Now we have Yammer

Once we get Crapper, the circle will finally be complete.

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Re: First we had Twitter

That was Windows ME, IIRC.

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Is it just me? I can honestly say the first time I've heard of this "Yammer" was when Microsoft acquired them. Am I that out of the loop or are they about as much good at marketing as OS/2 or Vista was at being useful?

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New idea for reinventing startups, go to Redmond

If you went to a venture capitalist saying you will setup a business oriented social network, he would open internet explorer and show you linkedin.com homepage and various Intranet stuff from IBM etc.

Of course, if you go to ballmer, he pays you billions from shareholder money.

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