Zimbra adds offline access, instant messaging

Zimbra adds offline access, instant messaging

Summary: Yahoo suitor Microsoft probably isn't looking for an open source collaboration suite with native email, contacts, calendar, and task synchronization to Outlook 2007, but the object of its affection just happens to have one.Zimbra, which Yahoo acquired in September 2007 for about $350 million in cash, is rolling out Zimbra Collaboration Suite 5.

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Yahoo suitor Microsoft probably isn't looking for an open source collaboration suite with native email, contacts, calendar, and task synchronization to Outlook 2007, but the object of its affection just happens to have one.

Zimbra, which Yahoo acquired in September 2007 for about $350 million in cash, is rolling out Zimbra Collaboration Suite 5.0 (ZCS 5.0) this week. The new version supports Microsoft Outlook 2007, and BlackBerry Enterprise server and J2ME for mobile users.

Any file from an email in Zimbra can be stored in a "Briefcase" instead of as an email attachment. The Zimbra Desktop provides offline access to the suite, including all email features, calendar access, folders and search.

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The Ajax-based Zimbra supports Windows, Linux and Macintosh platforms, and can consolidate multiple types of email accounts, such as Gmail, Yahoo Mail or any IMAP or POP mailbox (below).

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In addition, ZCS 5.0 also has integrated instant messaging (below).

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As expected, Zimbra is more tightly integrated with Yahoo, via mashups (Zimlets) with Flickr, Yahoo Local (below), Yahoo Finance, and Yahoo Search.

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Zimbra claims to have 11 million paid mailboxes, mostly among ISP customers and universities. New Zimbra customers include Red Hat, Texas A&M University, Kuwait University and Dai Nippon Printing. The open source edition of ZCS 5.0 is free and the commercially supported Network Edition has a 60-day free trial.

Pricing for the Standard edition starts at $18 per user per year (for 50 sears) and $28 per user per year for the Professional edition. Educational users receive a 50 percent discount and service provider pricing is under $10 per user per year. Zimbra Mobile and technical support require additional fees.

Satish Dharmaraj, Yahoo vice president and Zimbra co-founder, addressed the Microsoft question in a forum post.

At Zimbra, nothing has changed. We will remain utterly and thoroughly committed to making our customers successful. We will continue to innovate at a great pace. We will continue to disrupt the market with products that are years ahead of our competition. We will continue to embrace open standards. That's our DNA. And we remain committed to doing that.

He concluded his post, "Thankfully, I can confidently say that the Zimbra movement is bigger than any one company."

But would the open source Zimbra movement, a competitor to Exchange, really survive a Microsoft acquisition of Yahoo? Perhaps if it is jettisoned from the mother ship. Maybe Microhoo would settle on Zimbra as its core mail/calendar engine for HotMail, Yahoo Mail and Outlook users, and rethink its position on open source. Doubt it.

Topics: Microsoft, Collaboration, Open Source, Software, Social Enterprise

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19 comments
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  • I run Zimbra 5.0.2 open source...

    edition on top of SuSE 10.2. It is one of the highest quality open source program that I've used. A lot of OSS programs lack the sophistication you find in proprietary offerings. But Zimbra doesn't have those shortcomings.

    You maybe wrong about Microsoft's desires for Zimbra.

    Whether you're an Open Source or a Proprietary fanboy, good software is good software.
    bjbrock
    • Before you get too comfy...

      ...read this:

      http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20080205073920414

      And read the licenses. Here's a relevant quote from the article by PJ:

      "So what happens to the code now? Well, read the licenses and wherever it says Yahoo, insert Microsoft, because that is how is will read if Microsoft is successful in its bid. Actually, my expectation is that Microsoft will kill the project."

      The GPL is the best way to prevent a hostile takeover bid from killing your project.

      Good luck with Zimbra. Maybe they can GPL it before it's too late.

      Scott Dunn
      epitax
      • I would like to see a full analysis of the Zimbra licensing and problems of

        creating fork for an independent open source version. I am sure that Steve Balmer has just such a study sitting on his desk.

        Remember that MS Office brings in billions every money, so MS has for sure been studying these issues VERY carefully.
        DonnieBoy
      • But do not forget that groklaw

        is openlly anti-Microsoft, so I would not really put to much thought onto most of what they say.
        GuidingLight
        • And is there any reason not to be Anti-MS??

          Microsoft has either butchered or squashed(or at least tried) any company that stands in it's way. If Yahoo gets taken over Zimbras toast.
          sullystuff
      • RE: Zimbra adds offline access, instant messaging

        The move is notable to me given I?m looking for an aggregation point for my various accounts as
        Linux Love
      • RE: Zimbra adds offline access, instant messaging

        well as offline access from time to time. I?m also interested in giving Google Apps a new front end for giggles.
        Linux Love
      • RE: Zimbra adds offline access, instant messaging

        Jim Morrisroe, vice president of VMware?s Zimbra business, said that Desktop 2.0, which can be
        Linux Love
      • RE: Zimbra adds offline access, instant messaging

        downloaded by anyone, is a way to build grass-roots knowledge of the unit. Ultimately, Zimbra is
        Linux Love
      • RE: Zimbra adds offline access, instant messaging

        hoping these downloads?3 million on the client side so far?put the company on the IT department?s radar.
        Linux Love
      • RE: Zimbra adds offline access, instant messaging

        For its business, Zimbra is walking the line between keeping IT admins as well as the end user
        Linux Love
      • RE: Zimbra adds offline access, instant messaging

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    • Update - ZCS Broken!!!

      It (web client) will not load in Windows 2000 with IE6. Firefox works fine and IE6 works great in XP.

      Guess I spoke too soon.

      ZCS support was basically no help. File a bug report.

      I wonder if they are as curt when it comes to their network edition.

      Guess you get what you pay for.
      bjbrock
      • our 5000 user organization moved to zimbra over a year ago

        and from the very BEGINNING we've been trying to move away from it. quite frankly, it's awful. hardware requirements are atrocious (ONLY xp sp2) it routinely sucks down 300+ meg of ram, routinely crashes or gives inexplicable error messages, and is so much of a chore that most users who really need their email have moved to outlook.

        hopefully we'll be moving to groupwise soon.
        Valis Keogh
    • RE: Zimbra adds offline access, instant messaging

      @bjbrock Microsoft is going to roll out the final version of at least some of its Windows Live Wave 4 services (though not its Essentials suite), based on what Microsoft officials said ipad bag blog of best sutudeg community the modern education news and yesterday.
      Arabalar
    • RE: Zimbra adds offline access, instant messaging

      @bjbrock That is really a big question. Google's servers are the heart of Google's business. And it has long been a FEATURE, a FEATURE, not a LOOPHOLE, that one could privately modify the GPL code they use to run their business. Of course web applications are obviously SaaS. But where does one draw the line between those applications and the servers that host them? For example, take an insurance company running open source on their back end servers. At some point they decide to put a customer facing front end on those servers so that customers can access their accounts over the Net. Does that suddenly make that whole kaboodle Saas? If so, I am not sure I am comfortable with AGPL. In fact, I am not sure I am comfortable with this concept anyway since it undercuts one of the few provisions that make GPL software highly attractive to businesses that are not engaged in reselling the software itself. It really compromises the spirit of the GPL in some ways
      arabaoyunlari
  • RE: Zimbra adds offline access, instant messaging

    Back in the Web 1.0 days some of us had great expectations of Evolution - a very nice little program. Its look and feel was very comparable to a well-known corporate mailclient.

    The company developing and distributing Evolution was gobbled-up by a larger entity and the product has not ceased to exist, but somehow has lost its individuality, and therefore its charm and its notoriety. It is now part of a larger offering by one of the better known opensource distribution providers.

    Let's hope that the current Zimbra offering manages to avoid this pitfall. It would be great if we could access an Zimbra back-office through an variety of clients and could use a Zimbra desktop client (which should be available on all operating systems) for all different back-office servers / systems. Preferably, this acces and communication should be device-independent.

    However, that would make it a direct competitor to Google. And already, rumors of Microsoft making a move on Yahoo ....

    I suppose I'll just enjoy this one as long as it lasts. Just like last time.

    Regards,


    Benjamin van Ruyssevelt
    3P Integrators || people, process, performance
    ben@3pIntegrators.com
    3pIntegrators
  • RE: Zimbra adds offline access, instant messaging

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  • RE: Zimbra adds offline access, instant messaging

    Remember that MS Office brings in billions every money, so MS has for sure been studying these issues VERY carefully.
    fatboy000