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Yahoo's $350M Open Source Pick Up - InternetNews.
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Yahoo's $350M Open Source Pick Up

Yahoo is strengthening its enterprise collaboration and e-mail capabilities with the $350 million cash purchase of open source e-mail collaboration startup Zimbra.

It is not clear as to how many of Zimbra's 100 employees Yahoo will retain, but according to a Q&A posted on Zimbra's site, Zimbra's co-founder and CEO, Satish Dharmaraj, CTO Scott Dietzen and other key members of the executive management team are committed to staying.

"At the heart of this merger is the conviction that e-mail is a core application and Yahoo can continue to expand its leadership to new markets using Zimbra," Dharmaraj wrote in a blog posting.

"For Zimbra, it was the opportunity to grow our footprint at an accelerated pace and the opportunity to provide innovative and new ways to use Yahoo's vast SDKs, trusted brand, vast network of users, great communication applications, core e-mail technology like anti-spam and search as well as its ad network to bring in innovative combined solutions to markets that are still left untapped."

Zimbra emerged out of stealth mode in early 2006 with its flagship product Zimbra Collaboration Suite 3.0 (ZCS). ZCS melds traditional e-mail messaging with a full online AJAX user interface. The Zimbra experience calls out beyond the usual messaging experience with Zimlets, which are Web Services mashups that allow ZCS to interact with other data sources, such as Google Maps.

In late 2006, Zimbra developed a mechanism by which its users could take their mail offline. The resulting Zimbra desktop was made generally available in March.

Though Zimbra is available as both an open source and as a commercial product, it has made significant inroads into the carrier space.

In May Zimbra announced a deal with Comcast to leverage the Zimbra platform to offer Comcast customers e-mail, instant messaging and voicemail within one online dashboard. At the time Zimbra issued a release claiming that it had crossed the 6 million paid mailbox threshold. Zimbra's 6 million paid mailboxes are spread across 1,300 customer deployments.

More recently, Zimbra added new compliance and retention features to its lineup with Zimbra Archiving and Discovery.

Zimbra said it's on track to deliver ZCS version 5.0 later this year.

Nor is the acquisition expected to affect Zimbra's open source efforts. "Zimbra will continue its practice of offering both an open and certified, network editions of the software," Zimbra's Q&A on the acquisition stated.