by Mike Masnick
Mon, Sep 17th 2007 4:32pm
Earlier today, the news broke that Yahoo was acquiring email and collaboration tools provider Zimbra for $350 million. Some may find this a little odd, since Yahoo just recently (finally) revamped its online email client based on the code it obtained years ago in purchasing Oddpost. However, one reasonable explanation is that this is (yet another) Google-inspired response. Yahoo bought Oddpost soon after Google released Gmail and Yahoo realized its email client was looking woefully dated. More recently, Google's been getting all sorts of attention for its attempts to move further and further into the enterprise with Google Apps -- including pushing Gmail as a solution for enterprise email. Zimbra collaboration offerings were mainly focused on enterprises or organizations that would be rolling out email to many customers (such as ISPs). Yahoo hasn't focused much (if at all) on creating an enterprise-ready solution, so by buying Zimbra, it could be signaling plans to move much more aggressively into the enterprise with enterprise-ready apps. This is definitely a shift from the Terry Semel-run Yahoo that was so focused on being a media company with some technology. Of course, we've all seen acquisitions like this go nowhere, so there are plenty of questions still to be answered about whether or not Yahoo really be more of an enterprise-focused company, but it would appear that it's at least going to try.
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