The acquisition is unlikely to have much impact in the short term, although it may give Yammer an advantage when negotiating with some enterprise buyers through their new link to Microsoft. Certainly the acquisition won’t impact the immediate next release of SharePoint.
There is of course massive potential to integrate activity streams and other social computing concepts across the Microsoft suite of products. What remains to be seen is if this is in fact Microsoft’s strategy and are they able execute the idea quicker than companies like Jive or Salesforce. This strategy would also need to fit into Microsoft’s broader partner strategy – directly this includes vendors like Newsgator and Neudesic Pulse, but indirectly this also includes other system integrators and resellers. I actually think that’s a bold play, as it would require them to become the de-facto activity stream provider in the enterprise. There is also the small detail of Yammer being a cloud-based solution too.
Despite all the speculation, I don’t think this will become much clearer until we hear and see more details about what will actually happen at Yammer next. When I met with Yammer in San Francisco a few weeks prior to the news breaking about the acquisition I got the impression that they had their own ideas about taking Yammer beyond being a simple “virtual water cooler” app – in this respect, maybe the best thinkg that might happen is that Microsoft treats them as an important partner so we get to see what evolves there, much as I see other companies like TIBCO and SAP doing with their own Yammer alternatives (tibbr and StreamWork respectively).
I finally got sucked into making a comment about the Yammer acquisition by Microsoft…