Yahoo to sell open source rival to Exchange – WSJ

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Yahoo may be slimming down its diversified business by selling its assets and close down several of its websites, as its looks to find a potential buyer for its open-source email provider Zimbra, a competitor to Microsoft Exchange, which it bought for US$350 million in late 2007.

Its Zimbra Collaboration Suite (ZCS) provides email, contacts, calendar, search, VoIP and document collaboration and authoring tools to its clients, and can be installed in-house like Exchange, or using server hosted by Yahoo.

Yahoo has used its technology to power its new web-based Mail and Calendar tools, with the interfaces strikingly similar.

According to All Things D, potential buyers include Comcast and Google – both own services that would integrate nicely with Zimbra; with Comcast having online address book and social network Plaxo, while Google has its Google Apps service, which includes its popular GMail service, for business customers. Comcast is also a Zimbra user.

The price, however, may be lower than what Yahoo originally paid for the company.

But its not only Zimbra on the chopping block; other business units, including its personals and online classifieds websites, are set to face the axe. The move is set to refocus the company to be primarily a consumer company, with a new and pricey marketing campaign to promote this new aim.

Yahoo’s assets have been slowly dwindling as it closed down its blogging website Yahoo! 360, video editing and hosting site Jumpcut and free web hosting service GeoCities this year, among others in the past three years including its Auctions and Photos websites (Yahoo! Photos was replaced with Flickr). As well, it has announced it will no longer be part of the search business, as it will give its business to Microsoft and its Bing search engine.

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