Feeds

Yahoo! to offload Zimbra on...VMware?

Up the stack

Seven Steps to Software Security

Yahoo! is on the verge of selling its Microsoft Exchange–battling Zimbra unit to VMware, according to a report citing multiple sources "close to the situation."

AllThingsDigital reports that Yahoo! and VMware will announced a Zimbra deal "soon," but it says the Zimbra price tag is "unclear."

A Yahoo! spokesman declined to discuss the rumor, saying "We don’t comment on rumors or speculation." VMware told us the same thing.

Rumors have swirled since September that Yahoo! was looking to offload Zimbra, which it acquired in the fall of 2007 for around $350m. Comcast (a customer) and Google (a competitor) were mooted as possible buyers, but this is the first mention of VMware. According to ATD, Yahoo! CEO Carol Bartz personally approached VMware boss Paul Maritz after the web giant failed to attract substantial bids from other outfits.

A source tells ATD that VMware sees Zimbra as a way to move "up the stack" from its foundation in virtualization. In August, the company purchased open-source Java framework specialist SpringSource in a cash deal worth $362m, but this was a (much) tighter fit with the company's existing business. SpringSource gives VMware the talent (and open source goodwill) it needs to polish its vSphere hypervisor for use with so-called "cloud" applications.

Named for a nonsensical Talking Heads song, Zimbra is an open-source alternative to Microsoft Exchange. The Zimbra Collaboration Suite installs as an in-house server, but it's also available as a hosted service through various third-party partners. Either way, it works in tandem with an AJAX-based browser client, a downloadable Zimbra Desktop client, various mobile clients, and third-party clients such as Microsoft Outlook and Mozilla Thunderbird. And, yes, either way it could run atop vSphere.

The free open-source version of the server is available under the Yahoo! Public License, née the Zimbra Public License. According to Zimbra, about 5 per cent of the tools available with the paid version of the product are missing from the open source version.

Speaking with The Reg this fall, Zimbra general manager Jim Morrisroe downplayed the possibility of a sale, emphasizing "tight collaboration" between his engineering team and the teams developing Yahoo!'s web-based Mail and Calendar apps. Zimbra technology currently underpins both.

According to Zimbra, its platform is now used by over 100,000 organizations across the globe, boasting more than 50 million paid mailboxes. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
Airbus promises Wi-Fi – yay – and 3D movies (meh) in new A330
If the person in front reclines their seat, this could get interesting
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
UK Parliament rubber-stamps EMERGENCY data grab 'n' keep bill
Just 49 MPs oppose Drip's rushed timetable
Want to beat Verizon's slow Netflix? Get a VPN
Exec finds stream speed climbs when smuggled out
Samsung threatens to cut ties with supplier over child labour allegations
Vows to uphold 'zero tolerance' policy on underage workers
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.