So, what are the implications of the technology? First, it may be a classic example of how open source can drive cost out of today's server infrastructures. But let's say you swap the servers to save money and the clients are still running Windows an Outlook. The next step to something more independent on the desktop is to get your users onto Scalix's browser-based e-mail client. One of the biggest advantages of this architecture over a fat client like Outlook is that users can go to any system and access their e-mail much the same way that can be done with Outlook Web Access (OWA). In fact, Scalix's e-mail client is exactly what OWA should be. (Shame on Microsoft for not having done something like this already -- especially since it is espousing the idea of HTML applications as a part of Longhorn.) Another big advantage is that it works identically in Firefox and Internet Explorer.
But suppose your users start accessing their e-mail inboxes and calendars with Firefox. At that point, the e-mail system that was one of your barriers to switching to Linux on the desktop no longer is. Yes, Novell's Evolution offers similar opportunities, but the migration path isn't as staged or as smooth.
I caught up with Farris for my first-ever podcast (download the MP3, or learn how to have them automatically downloaded while you're sleeping) from a trade show floor.