Washington - Microsoft has reached a deal to purchase the Yammer business software company for $1bn in an apparent bid to shore up its widely-used Office software, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.
The journal said it was unclear when the acquisition would be completed, and neither Microsoft nor Yammer could immediately be reached for comment.
Yammer, known as the Facebook of the workplace, creates private social networks inside companies that allow for file-sharing and other applications, and is thus a potential threat to Microsoft's business software dominance.
If the deal is completed, it would be the second time in a little over a year that Microsoft buys up a younger company on its way to an initial public offering, the journal said.
In May 2011, Microsoft purchased internet voice and video leader Skype for $8.5bn - its largest purchase ever - in a move aimed at boosting its presence in an online arena dominated by Google and Facebook.
Skype announced late last month that it hopes to quadruple its number of users to 1 billion, through mobile customers and partnerships with Facebook and other firms.