Mashable just received an exclusive invite to a major Microsoft “Media Event” for June 18 in Los Angeles. According to the article on Mashable, the invitation reads: “This will be a major Microsoft announcement — you will not want to miss it”.
Mashable made several predictions on what Microsoft might announce this coming Monday: New hardware, Microsoft TV, Windows 8. Rational prediction, but highly unlikely, because in any case of the predictions taking place, Mashable agrees that it doesnt warrant the kind of secrecy Microsoft is doing right now.
Of course, secrecy piques curiosity, and leads to a little digging around. Earlier yesterday, Yammer announced that it agreed to sell itself to Microsoft for more than US$1 billion, making the acquisition yet another billion dollar deal this year, after Instagram. Launched in 2008, Yammer provides a Facebook-like platform for businesses that lets employees post news and links and ask questions. The acquisition is expected to boost up Windows 8 as a platform for corporates, however it is unclear when the Yammer acquisition will be completed and announced.
I believe the announcement from Microsoft this coming Monday might have something to do with the Yammer’s acquisition. Yammer which also has file-sharing tools and other softwares, is used by more than 200,000 companies around the world, including 85 percent of the Fortune 500. With Yammer under its belt now, Microsoft can definitely leverage on it to build up its own social network, so.cl which they have quietly launched earlier last month (bet you didn’t know this). So.cl is meant to be the social network for students, and with Yammer, Microsoft has the ticket to create the social network for businesses.
Social network aside, will we see any huge changes to the Microsoft Office suites which we use everyday? Earlier this month, we also reported that Google acquired QuickOffice to possibly ramp up its Google Docs capability, escalating its rivalry against Microsoft. With the Yammer acquisition, Microsoft might also be announcing some major upgrade to its existing Microsoft Office Suite to that its compatible with the new Windows mobile platform. Who knows, Microsoft might even announce Microsoft Office 2012!
It is also interesting to see what other various companies are up to, with companies acquiring and joining each other. Earlier this month, Salesforce acquired Buddy Media for US $689 million, and Oracle bought Vitrue to help major advertisers market themselves on Facebook. Google and Facebook too has been going around acquiring companies.
In any case, we are definitely excited for the announcement from Microsoft this Monday. A new social network? Microsoft Office? Your guess is as good as mine.