Yammer Will Help Microsoft Office Be More Social

Taking a page out of Google's digital book, Microsoft now seems to be trying to add a social spine that runs through all of its various software products, and it's using its acquisition of the enterprise social network Yammer to do it.

In fact, according to the Senior Director of Microsoft's Office Division, Jared Spataro, in a blog post published Tuesday, Yammer is the company's "big bet for enterprise social, and we're committed to making it the underlying social layer for all of our products."

The first step in this process was integrating Yammer with the Microsoft Dynamics customer relationship management (CRM) platform, but it's certainly not stopping there! In fact, this summer, the company plans to release an update to Office 365 that will let customers replace their SharePoint "newsfeeds" with Yammer, in addition to supporting single sign-on and seamless navigation from Office 365's global navigation bar.

Included in this new, improved and Yammer-incorporated version of Office 365 will be rich document capabilities that let users integrate Office Web Apps to add editing and co-editing capabilities to Word, PowerPoint and Excel documents. Plus, by 2014, Microsoft apparently plans to initiate a 90-day update cycle for the social enhancements included in Office 365 to "combine social, collaboration, email, instant messaging, voice, video and line of business applications in innovative new ways." In other words, the company will be able to incrementally flesh out the connections between Yammer and Office 365.

However, Office 365 isn't the only Microsoft product that's going to be getting a boost of Yammer. The company is also going to allow customers to replace their SharePoint newsfeeds with Yammer when conducting on-premises installations of the SharePoint Server 2013. This will, in turn, create a sort of hybrid between the two services.