Microsoft is currently in talks to purchase Yammer, a social network that allows businesses to set up their own private access social media platforms for employees. The collaboration based tool is expected to fetch more than $1 billion.
The acquisition was revealed to Bloomberg and insiders believe the deal could happen on Friday.
Yammer was created with funding from former PayPal chief operating officer David Sacks, the company currently has support from more than 200,000 companies ranging from eBay and Ford to larger and smaller companies of all sizes.
Microsoft needs to acquire a large social networking tool to keep up with its competitors. Google currently operates the ever-growing Google+ social network while Apple announced deeper Facebook integration for its iOS 6 mobile operating system. Samsung rumors even point to its own Facebook type social network for its full range of products, a new network that is expected to launch within the next 12-months. Samsung has denied the social network claims.
Microsoft’s own mobile platform already supports heavy Facebook integration but the Yammer buyout could allow Microsoft to add business support to its Windows Phone platform by creating Yammer mobile programs that can then be fully integrated directly with the Windows Mobile OS.
The enterprise sector is a fickle bunch as we have witnessed with the slow and painful demise of Research in Motion, makers of the Blackberry line of devices. By integrating more enterprise features with their mobile platform Microsoft could capture an entirely new audience.
Microsoft could also use the Yammer acquisition to strengthen its soon to be released Windows 8 operating system.