This is big news in the open source e-mail and collaboration market. I've been very impressed by Zimbra over the last couple years. In fact earlier this month I began working on a report that focuses on Zimbra as a leader in next-generation e-mail interfaces. Wanna know what e-mail might look like in the next five years? Take a look at Zimbra. This news doesn't change the plan but it alters some of the commentary.
Admittedly this isn't surprising news. Not that I had inside knowledge of the acquisition but I knew it was only a short matter of time before someone might jump in and snatch up Zimbra. However I did not expect it to be Yahoo! (which is costing me a couple bets). Smart move for Yahoo! since it not only gets a enterprise ready, hostable e-mail platform, it also gets some really savvy technical talent that may help jumpstart its so far unsuccessful attempts with the enterprise market.
One natural fit for Zimbra at Yahoo! is that Zimbra is built for hosting, in fact Zimbra provides white label e-mail software to many large ISPs around the world. According to Zimbra, it currently has 9 million licensed mailboxes and around 50% of them are hosted. Zimbra also brings with it strong presence in the EDU and GOV markets and if you take a look at the roadmap for Zimbra 5.0 (due Q32007) Yahoo! offers a lot more than Google or Hot Mail, including:
- Off-line client
- Push e-mail to most mobile platforms
- Outlook 2007 support
- External directory support
- Integrated archiving and discovery
What's not to like? Now that the belle-of-the-ball is off the dance card there's slim to no pickin's left if you're in the market for an e-mail platform. Now I've got to go pay off my wagers...