While Microsoft’s bid for Yahoo continues to make headlines, the company went ahead with release of the next version of its messaging and collaboration suite – Zimbra Collaboration suite v5.0.
Yahoo acquired Zimbra in September last year for a sum of $350 million in what was seen as a move to compete in the offline online applications space. At the heart of the application is the feature to take e-mail accounts offline.
Yahoo’s new Zimbra Collaboration Suite (ZCS) 5.0 allows users to read Microsoft Outlook e-mail alongside Yahoo Mail or Google’s Gmail or Zimbra’s own branded e-mail.
In effect, Zimbra’s upgrade lets users read work and personal e-mail side by side.
“We really think this is the next generation of Outlook that we are announcing,” said Satish Dharmaraj, co-founder and chief executive of Zimbra.
- Support for mobile devices such as Blackberry and J2ME enabled handsets.
- Sharing of e-mail folders
- Instant messaging with conversation and group chat features right beside e-mail
- Support for Microsoft Exchange, Apple mail, Eudora and Gmail.
With the acquisition news in the air, there are several doubts on exactly how the new combined company would sustain the vision of products like Zimbra. More questions are raised on Yahoo’s open source credentials. The company has been a major proponent of open source and Zimbra is no exception.
Yahoo! is also a major proponent of open technologies and this combination is a further testament to how serious they are about their intentions. You will continue to see active participation in developer APIs and forums. We are committed to continue keeping the source open available for use and we will continue to offer the network version that will contain value added proprietary features on top of the open product.
It also appears that the premium offered by Microsoft in its unsolicited bid is taking into view the position Yahoo held in the mobile front and also on how best the Redmond giant can use its technologies to target the enterprise.