Microsoft Madness: The true meaning of Yammer, Surface and Xbox 720

Microsoft has had a lot of earth shattering items in the news lately. It was recently reported that enterprise social network company Yammer was being acquired by Microsoft for $1.3 Billion. Then blogs started picking up news of leaked documents describing their next Xbox console called the Xbox 720. Yesterday, Microsoft held a mystery media event and announced that they were making a tablet computer running windows 8. Could these things be related?

The bottom line is, it doesn’t matter. As tech journalists, its our job to take the things that we see and read, and make them more interesting for you. The real news is that the sale of Yammer to Microsoft is not final. *BORING.* The real news is that the “leaked” Xbox 720 documents are likely not really from Microsoft. Or Leaked. Or even documents. *YAWN.* Surface is a tablet that runs an OS that microsoft has been saying from the beginning is built for tablets. *I DIDN’T KNOW THAT.* The real news is that Microsoft is so segmented that not one employee is aware of all three of these annoucements and they couldn’t be related. *THEN WHY ARE WE EVEN HERE?* So here we go:

  1. Yammer will be Microsoft’s new social network only accessible via Windows 8 tablets.
    The best feature an internet based service can have is exclusivity. How do you think Facebook got as popular as it is today. It’s not that it has features that people wanted at a time when no one else was offering them. No. It’s because it started at Harvard. Creating a restricted social network is exactly the play Microsoft needs.
  2. The Xbox 720 will be an enterprise product
    Microsoft’s acquisition of a business social network clearly plays into their strategy of getting more xboxes into the workplace. Imagine editing that spreadsheet with 3D graphics. What about writing word documents with Kinect. How about fighting the Locusts from Gears of War with Clippy at your side. Yammer will allow a company that has had so much trouble infiltrating the corporate world, dominated mostly by lotus notes, to make a serious move into enterprise.
  3. The Xbox 720 will use the Surface tablet as a controller creating a competitor to Nintendo’s Wii U
    The Wii U’s main differentiating feature is a tablet like controller. Using the new tablet and kinect technology, Microsoft has nullified any of Nintendo’s advantages in the console gaming market. Ok, I’ll admit, this one is probably true, and kind of awesome. Whatever microsoft’s next gaming console ends up being. Hell, why not throw Yammer in there too. You’ll be able to play whatever Yammer’s Farmville equivalent is on the Xbox 720 using Yammer.

This is why I got into journalism and not creative writing. To report the facts.

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