Microsoft buying Yammer – A smart move or a move away from being smart?

In the wake of Facebook’s plummeting stock introduction Microsoft just announced that they are buying the Enterprise equaliant to Facebook, Yammer, for $1.2 Billion. Putting social networks still in the billion dollar industry segments. Is it relevant though? Is this a smart move by Microsoft?

I have yet to meet a communication strategist or HR representative at a large enterprise that isn’t talking about getting an “internal Facebook” for their employees. The reasoning behind this is a long discussion of its own and one could argue if they really need an “internal Facebook” or if it something else.

But the key point is that influential decision makers see strengths in social media for internal communications. There is a strong market and Microsoft just grew stronger in the possibility to meet that market.

Combining the Enterprise products already from Microsoft, Lync and SharePoint, with Yammer (that already integrate with SharePoint) is a very compelling combination. Think of the possibility to have a really good network and with the ability to connect, communicate and collaborate with your peers at your fingertips (Literally using smartphone clients). I know that my workdays are much easier with those tools.

Social collaboration is having a lot of traction with Twitter starting to have the prospect of big earnings from advertisement, new services like Pinterest and smartphones really extending the social networks to everywhere, anytime; all this makes social networking a commodity. Social is getting in everywhere, even into enterprise processes. Yammer is strong here. It is very strong even.

Social Media could be a hype, Facebook’s introduction to the stock market hasn’t been flawless. And yet there are several big projects running that show real Return of Investement. So even if social networking for consumers seems to struggle, social networking for the enterprise isn’t.

Is this a smart move for Microsoft? I believe so. I know that combining Yammer and SharePoint already today gives my clients some of the functionality they are asking for. Buying Yammer and bring it closer to their other products, can only make Microsoft stronger on the Enterprise market.

The annoncement

Yammer Inc

Swedish Commentary

HTML5 will chop more then Flash and Silverlight, next up: Apps

In response to Apple adding a 30% “Tax” on anything bought inside apps and subscriptions, Amazon has released a HTML5 version of Kindle (source).

This is an interesting turn of events and one I’ve been waiting for. The capability leap of HTML5 seems to create a little bit of sanity in this space. Much like everything was a desktop app before WWW matured, everything on a mobile device is an app today. Even company contact info it seems.

But as HTML5 matures and get’s more widely spread on mobile devices, I’m expecting more and more apps being converted to web pages. In a similar fashion that more and more desktop apps was converted to HTML4 / Javascript pages when that technology matured and evolved.

Just because everything can be an app, doesn’t mean it should. Now we have other very strong alternatives as Amazon just showed.