Yahoo! acquired Zimbra earlier tonight for cool $350 mil in cash. Zimbra, for the uninformed crowd basically means: Exchange features on Linux. Though its a lot more than that (collaboration, AJAX interfaces) the bottom line is that this is (or was) the main competition to Microsoft Exchange – Lotus and friends included. I must admit, Yahoo! is a surprise, what does Yahoo! gain (or what does Zimbra lose). Smelling the synergy? Here is how they are selling it:
At the heart of this merger is the conviction that email is a core application and Yahoo! can continue to expand its leadership to new markets using Zimbra. 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 email 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. At every step of the way, we will ensure that Customers have the freedom of choice in what they deploy.
Zimbra is clearly the big winner here. $350 mil in cash, free advertising, bigger footprint and customer base to pitch to.
What does Yahoo! gain? This takes away from their “everything ought to be hosted on our Yahoo! everything systems” and provides people with a downloadable on-premise, or more key – away from Yahoo!-privacy-concernville. Yahoo! now owns a piece of infrastructure incompatible with their message so was this huge deal just a takeaway to keep a key component away from someone else that has recently been talking about “offlining” their data?
Time will tell, congrats to the boys at Zimbra, Ferrari in every color is the only way to go….