Microsoft to buy enterprise social network Yammer for $1.2 billion

Seemingly unwilling to let anyone else have any limelight, Microsoft today confirmed their oft-rumoured acquisition of self-proclaimed enterprise social network Yammer. Having announced a deal for $1.2 billion in cash for the company, Microsoft plans to combine the network, which launched in 2008 and has been presented with various collaboration awards, with its SharePoint collaboration tool to provide a market-leading enterprise experience, proving that it’s not all about the consumer to Ballmer and the folks in Redmond. To help illustrate their point, the company made up a handy infographic explaining why Yammer and Microsoft are a perfect fit for each other, along with the obligatory press release that can be found below.

REDMOND, Wash., and SAN FRANCISCO — June 25, 2012 — Microsoft Corp. and Yammer Inc. today announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement under which Microsoft will acquire Yammer, a leading provider of enterprise social networks, for $1.2 billion in cash. Yammer will join the Microsoft Office Division, led by division President Kurt DelBene, and the team will continue to report to current CEO David Sacks.

“The acquisition of Yammer underscores our commitment to deliver technology that businesses need and people love,” said Steve Ballmer, CEO, Microsoft. “Yammer adds a best-in-class enterprise social networking service to Microsoft’s growing portfolio of complementary cloud services.”

Launched in 2008, Yammer now has more than 5 million corporate users, including employees at 85 percent of the Fortune 500. The service allows employees to join a secure, private social network for free and then makes it easy for companies to convert a grassroots movement into companywide strategic initiative.

Yammer will continue to develop its standalone service and maintain its commitment to simplicity, innovation and cross-platform experiences. Moving forward, Microsoft plans to accelerate Yammer’s adoption alongside complementary offerings from Microsoft SharePoint, Office 365, Microsoft Dynamics and Skype.

“When we started Yammer four years ago, we set out to do something big,” Sacks said. “We had a vision for how social networking could change the way we work. Joining Microsoft will accelerate that vision and give us access to the technologies, expertise and resources we’ll need to scale and innovate.”

The acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approval.

About Yammer

Yammer (www.yammer.com) is a leading provider of enterprise social networks with over 5 million verified corporate users including employees of more than 85 percent of the Fortune 500. The basic version of Yammer is free, and customers can pay to upgrade their network to receive advanced administrative and security controls, integrations with enterprise applications, priority customer service and a designated customer success manager.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://www.microsoft.com/news. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://www.microsoft.com/news/contactpr.mspx.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements, which are any predictions, projections or other statements about future events. Actual results may differ materially from these forward-looking statements because of a variety of risks and uncertainties about our business, which we describe in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including our Forms 10-K and 10-Q. We do not undertake any duty to update any forward-looking statement.

Scientists begin building 3.2 billion pixel space camera

Do you want a 3.2 billion pixel camera? While this one is designed to take pictures of space, I still want it.

Tech

The 22.3-megapixel CMOS sensor on Canon’s new EOS 5D Mark III is no joke — except when compared to the hardware in the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) camera. The 3.2 billion-pixel digital camera is meant to “capture the widest, fastest and deepest view of the night sky ever observed,” according to the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory.

When completed, the camera is supposed to record 6 million gigabytes of data each year, the equivalent of taking around 800,000 photos with an eight-megapixel camera every single night.

Its purpose? To look at totally awesome space stuff:

Its deep and frequent cosmic vistas will help answer critical questions about the nature of dark energy and dark matter and aid studies of near-Earth asteroids, Kuiper belt objects, the structure of our galaxy and many other areas of astronomy and fundamental physics.

The whole shebang will weigh around three tons and have 189…

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Facebook buys Instagram for $1 billion

In a post on Facebook, CEO Mark Zuckerberg confirmed that his company has purchased Instagram for $1 billion. Read his post below.

I’m excited to share the news that we’ve agreed to acquire Instagram and that their talented team will be joining Facebook.

For years, we’ve focused on building the best experience for sharing photos with your friends and family. Now, we’ll be able to work even more closely with the Instagram team to also offer the best experiences for sharing beautiful mobile photos with people based on your interests.

We believe these are different experiences that complement each other. But in order to do this well, we need to be mindful about keeping and building on Instagram’s strengths and features rather than just trying to integrate everything into Facebook.

That’s why we’re committed to building and growing Instagram independently. Millions of people around the world love the Instagram app and the brand associated with it, and our goal is to help spread this app and brand to even more people.

We think the fact that Instagram is connected to other services beyond Facebook is an important part of the experience. We plan on keeping features like the ability to post to other social networks, the ability to not share your Instagrams on Facebook if you want, and the ability to have followers and follow people separately from your friends on Facebook.

These and many other features are important parts of the Instagram experience and we understand that. We will try to learn from Instagram’s experience to build similar features into our other products. At the same time, we will try to help Instagram continue to grow by using Facebook’s strong engineering team and infrastructure.

This is an important milestone for Facebook because it’s the first time we’ve ever acquired a product and company with so many users. We don’t plan on doing many more of these, if any at all. But providing the best photo sharing experience is one reason why so many people love Facebook and we knew it would be worth bringing these two companies together.

We’re looking forward to working with the Instagram team and to all of the great new experiences we’re going to be able to build together.

Facebook IPO filing crashes the SEC website

Facebook has filed for its IPO, and crashed the website of the Securities and Exchange Commision. The filing explains that the site has over 483 million daily users and made a profit of $1bn last year. Madness? I think so. I would buy shares, but I’m not a multi-billionaire like Zuck.