Tools & Technologies

Zimbra Isn't Dead (Yet) – VMWare Releases Zimbra 7

There was a time when the executives at Zimbra took all the right moves to get their message and product in front of prospective buyers. Then came the September 2007 acquisition by Yahoo for $350 million, but that obviously didn’t go too great because VMWare purchased Zimbra from Yahoo in January 2010. Financial terms were not disclosed, but my guess is that it was a fire sale.

A year later, there is new Zimbra goodness out of the boys and girls at VMWare:

VMware … today announced the launch of VMware Zimbra® 7 – the latest version of its next-generation email and collaboration platform. Available today, customers can download Zimbra Collaboration Server 7 (formerly Zimbra Collaboration Suite) along with beta versions of VMware Zimbra Desktop 7 and VMware Zimbra Appliance 7 at http://www.zimbra.com/downloads.

VMware Zimbra 7 features new data sharing capabilities, expanded calendaring and search functionality, and upgraded management features for both IT and end-users. With this update, Zimbra is further optimized for both the casual and power-user, establishing a platform for a next-generation workspace within the VMware End-User Computing vision.

New stuff:
– “share more, send less” – a greater emphasis on non-email collaboration, through file sharing and people search.
– better mobile device support, including BlackBerry.

Comments
Email is a hard market to break into. With a dedicated executive team when Zimbra was Zimbra, they did alright. Intentional focus and energy led to good things happening. Since then … less so. VMWare does good stuff with virtualization, so perhaps its strengths there will be sufficient to out-play the incumbents in the email and collaboration space – specifically the strong “Exchange” brand. However, I’m not holding my breath.

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