back to article Yahoo! to shed open source Exchange rival?

Yahoo! may be shedding more mojo. According to All Things Digital, the web giant is looking to offload Zimbra, the open-source email and collaboration outfit it acquired just two years ago for $350m. Sources tell ATD that Comcast and Google are potential buyers. Comcast is a Zimbra user - the open source package powers the …

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Jobs Horns

I can see....

Oracle could (should?) be interested. For a while now they've had OCS (Oracle Collaboration Suite) which has an extremely uninspiring and poor UI.

Now they've got Sun (OpenOffice - competing against MS Office) and BEA AquaLogic (Enterprise Web 2.0 portal - competing against Sharepoint). They could finally offer a real alternative to a large part of the Microsoft stack (Office, Exchange, Sharepoint).

C'mon ole' Lawrence... you know you wanna...

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Buy'em Out Boys

Why would Google want to buy Zimbra?

As mentioned, Zimbra is a competitor of theirs. Normally, when you buy out a competitor it is to take their tech, customer base or just to squash them.

What are they gonna do? They have their own tech, and even if Zimbras tech is complementary to their own, they have access to it already due to it being open source. As for customers, I don't even know if Zimbra has any. Even if they do, the big G just ain't in that sort of business anyway. Which leaves the Microsoft option, which is to buy it and squash it? Well, they can hardly do that because once again, it is open source and the devs can simply fork it to a new project and keep on going.

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Zimbra isn't really Open Source

Only 1 out of 5 versions of Zimbra is described as Open Source, and to quote Vaughn-Nichols "It is annoying, however, that despite all its virtues, the Open Source Edition is almost crippleware."

The "Open Source Edition" is released under the YPL, and that license's compliance with Open Source principles is debatable.

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@JMiles

Actually, I hadn't thought about that, but it makes sense.

The main limitation that I can see in Linux on the Enterprise Desktop has been a lack of a complete Office suite, a la MS Office. There have been the tools, but they have been fragmented. If Oracle was to get hold of Zimbra it could package these all up together as a complete, open-source alternative to MSO & Win Servers (Except for AD Domain stuff, till Samba4 &/ Franky get off the ground). And it could still be used on Windows desktops, as well as Linux & Mac. It could be the kick up the Rs businesses need to try out Linux on the Desktop, 'specially coming from a well known & respected co like Oracle...

Doubt it, but it sounds like a plan.

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@JMilles

Oracle has their Beehive Collaboration Suite (http://www.oracle.com/technology/products/ocal/index.html) and Sun also has a collaboration suite called Communications Suite ( http://www.sun.com/software/communications_suite/index.jsp ) that scales very nicely and which Oracle could use to complement Beehive.

I don't think they need Zimbra...

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