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.

BREAKING: MySpace buys Oldify for $1 Billion

Today, MySpace is making headlines with a substantial buyout of popular iOS app Oldify. This move seems to be a defensive play, as Facebook just announced their $1 billion Instagram acquisition. Oldify is an iOS app that allows users to upload pictures of themselves, friends or family and apply visual effects to make them appear much older than they are. The application exploded in the App Store and quickly rose to the Top 10 most popular Free iOS apps.

Mike Jones, CEO of MySpace believes that Oldify plays a crucial role in the company’s long-term strategy. “Old is the new young. We believe that integrating the Oldify filter into our profile pictures will really bring some maturity and elegance to our service,” said Mike. “This is just the beginning for the new MySpace. Oldify aligns with our vision for the future of MySpace, at the crossroads of Social Networking and self-expression.”

It was reported that the Instagram acquisition took only two days from start to finish. When we asked Mike how long the Oldify acquisition took, Mike said, “About 30-45 minutes. We downloaded the app, made ourselves look like geezers and all shared the ah-ha moment. I looked at our CFO and said ‘Make the call’.”

MySpace is spending a hefty $50 per Oldify user. When asked why MySpace valued each user at such a large sum, Mike replied “What?” He had trouble hearing me. I repeated the question much louder, and Mike stared at me with an expression that portrayed a combination of fear and confusion. He just stood up and walked out of the room.