Yahoo Zimbra Unit Unveils New Web Client

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2008-02-04 Print this article Print

The Zimbra Collaboration Suite 5.0 now includes support for Microsoft Outlook 2007, the BlackBerry Enterprise Server and mobile Web browsers. 

Facing an uncertain future as Microsoft bids for Yahoo, Zimbra, the open-source messaging and collaboration software company that was acquired by Yahoo for $350 million last September, will release the next version of its Web client, Zimbra Collaboration Suite 5.0, on Feb. 5.

ZCS 5.0, is available in 15 languages and now offers native e-mail, contacts, calendar and task synchronization from Zimbra to Outlook 2007, said John Robb, vice president of marketing and product management for the Zimbra business unit at Yahoo.

The suite also provides access to Zimbra from all BlackBerry handsets, J2ME-enabled devices and any mobile Web browser, including the Apple iPhone, Robb said.

The Zimbra AJAX Web client also now includes, for the first time, the Zimbra Desktop, which allows users of existing POP and IMAP e-mail servers to collaborate and work both online and offline.

Joe Wilcox claims Microsoft's bid for Yahoo reveals its fatal flaw. Read about it here.

The product's support for the BlackBerry Enterprise Server is already being touted by some as a strategic differentiator. "From a business standpoint, this is a huge advantage for Zimbra. It's the last box to check in a product evaluation, and Zimbra is the only open platform that offers it," said David Smith, group technical director for Gyro International.

Web-based instant messaging, which is now built directly into the collaboration suite, supports multiple conversations and group chats, while any file from an e-mail can be stored in the Zimbra Briefcase instead of as an e-mail attachment, and those Briefcase folders can be easily shared, Robb said.

"We are excited that we now offer IM on the platform, and we have [done] some interoperability work with Yahoo's IM as well as with online document authoring and sharing," he said.

"A big focus for us going forward is to continue to add new capabilities, and we are looking for places where we can integrate with other Yahoo properties as that makes sense," Robb said.

In-boxes and e-mail folders can now also be shared and can be made available with read-only access or full management, while there are also new Zimlets that "mash up" Flickr, Yahoo Local, Yahoo Finance and Yahoo Search in the collaboration suite, he said.

Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at


Submit a Comment

Loading Comments...
Manage your Newsletters: Login   Register My Newsletters

Rocket Fuel