All along I had been wondering why Yahoo hadn’t acquired Zoho (Online Office Suite) yet. In fact, back in July I asked this very question and I suggested that Yahoo seemed like a likely buyer because Microsoft has no need for them, and Google has their own Office Suite. Now I know that Yahoo had no need for Zoho – they were going after Zimbra, an Online Open Source Office Suite. TechCrunch just reported that Yahoo is set to announce their acquisition of Zimbra tonight for $350 million in cash.While Yahoo hasn’t made their official announcement yet, thus it hasn’t been confirmed, Arrington says that they got this information "through a very solid source."
Seeing as Zimbra is Open Source, it’s no surprise how versatile it is. Users on Windows, Apple, and Linux operating systems using browsers like Firefox, IE, and Safari are able to use their service. And the fact that their Desktop application offers both online and offline functionality makes it that much more appealing. They also make great use of Ajax in their applications which gives you a great experience. Their web client integrates a shared calendar, contacts, email, online document authoring, and more.
Aside from being known as one of the best open source options for messaging, collaboration, and reducing the need for Microsoft Outlook, Zimbra is also pretty well known because of the skins that you can make. Zimbra is very customizable and you can make it look nearly any way you’d want. To prove this, they made (for fun- not for us), a skin that looks like Gmail pictured to the right. Impressive, isn’t it?
There’s SO much that you can do with Zimbra and it’ll be interesting to see how Yahoo decides to use it. I also assume Yahoo intends to use Zimbra to directly compete with Google Apps, but we’ll just have to wait and see. When I look at Zimbra, I must say, it makes me wonder why Gmail and other mail services haven’t been able to do what Zimbra has done already by integrating all of their services together.
Thanks “S” for the tip!