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Yammer, Lync, Skype, Messenger, Sharepoint : Meet Microsoft's biggest conundrum

The purchase of enterprise social network service Yammer by Microsoft may finally be the trigger - and the catalyst - that will kickstart the next step in the company's evolution in the business/enterprise arena.

With Yammer, Microsoft has a total of five communication, collaboration and sharing tools targeting anything from Fortune 500 firms to individuals and everything in between (six if you count Office 365) and it will be a massive challenge to bring them together into a single differentiated service in the (very) long run.

Interestingly, Kurt DelBene, president of the Microsoft Office Division, mentioned Sharepoint, Office 365, Sharepoint and Skype but not Lync in a post on Technet.

As for Windows Live, it still remains Microsoft's biggest virtual online community with a total active user accounts of more than 330 million members at the last count, still a firm favourite amongst business users and one that simply cannot be ignored.

So here you have the pieces of the gigantic jigsaw that Microsoft needs to bring together. A single unified communication freemium solution (free for consumers, paid for for businesses) would make sense and eliminate any existing duplication/overlapping.

More importantly, it would give Microsoft a sleek service to rival Facebook and Twitter as the two prepare to leverage their massive consumer userbase to become more business friendly.

Desire worked at ITProPortal right at the beginning and was instrumental in turning it into the leading publication we all know and love today. He then moved on to be the Editor of TechRadarPro - a position he still holds - and has recently been reunited with ITProPortal since Future Publishing's acquisition of Net Communities.