Yahoo! finally using Zimbra

Yahoo! bought Zimbra for $350 million and appears to have done little with it...until now.

A little over a year ago Yahoo! acquired open-source messaging company Zimbra for $350 million, but it's only now starting to launch products based on Zimbra's technology. As All Things Digital reports, Yahoo! just updated its calendar service after nearly a decade, and is using Zimbra to power it:

The new Yahoo calendar is built on the Zimbra platform, which uses Ajax functionality in its online calendars and iCalendar (iCal) and CalDAV3 standards. That makes it interoperable with other online calendar services, including those from Mozilla, Apple, Microsoft, Time Warner's AOL and Google.

It's great to see Zimbra being put to good use, but it begs the question as to what Yahoo!'s plans are for Zimbra, generally. The improved calendar is nice, but when will we get to see Zimbra's technology throughout Yahoo!'s collaboration products?

When Yahoo! acquired Zimbra, some saw it as a way for Yahoo! to compete with Google Apps, what with its open APIs that enable Zimbra to be connected to just about everything:

Yahoo is aiming to create a more open platform, using APIs and mashups across multiple Yahoo properties (e.g. Yahoo Maps). Yahoo executive Brad Garlinghouse wrote in a post this week that he sees "great opportunities to incorporate some of their [Zimbra's] best-of-breed features (I really like their calendaring) into Yahoo!'s industry-leading communications products." But it's not just Yahoo's comms products that will benefit, it's basically anything with an API - and Yahoo has a lot of APIs, including for Y! Mail.

So, is this move with the calendar the first of many? If so, Yahoo! has been very quiet about it. Zimbra has been busy as a standalone Yahoo! business, continuing to build momentum with its enterprise email and collaboration product, replacing Microsoft Exchange at universities, governments, and enterprises. Still, I suspect Yahoo! intended for Zimbra to be more than just a successful-but-separate division. Hopefully this revised calendar is a sign of good (Zimbra-based) things to come at Yahoo!.

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About the author

    Matt Asay is chief operating officer at Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Prior to Canonical, Matt was general manager of the Americas division and vice president of business development at Alfresco, an open-source applications company. Matt brings a decade of in-the-trenches open-source business and legal experience to The Open Road, with an emphasis on emerging open-source business strategies and opportunities. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mjasay.

     

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