Zimbra – the open source mail/collaboration vendor acquired by Yahoo in 2007 for $350 million, may now be up for sale. There is no official word yet from Yahoo, but according to a rumor that CNET blogger Matt Asay says he has been able to confirm, virtualization vendor VMware is the likely suitor.
Personally, I don’t think Yahoo getting rid of Zimbra is a good thing – for Yahoo at least.
As far as I know, Zimbra’s email technology has (in some part) been helping to enhance Yahoo’s own core email offerings. With Yahoo now in a deal with Microsoft Bing for search, I see email as a core Yahoo owned and developed service for Yahoo. Sure Yahoo can (and does) have its own seperate email capabilities but Zimbra has raised the bar.
With Zimbra in hand, Yahoo is more than just a portal vendor that sells display ad space. Where Zimbra excels is in providing a platform for hosted email, something that big carriers like Comcast know and use today. Yahoo has branded email offers with numerous carriers around the world and Zimbra has the capabilities to add innovative technology behind the Yahoo brand.