Yahoo decided to increase the competition with Google by starting the beta of Zimbra, a web application that bundle the famous e-mail, calendar, contacts, and document services in one application. The most notorious feature of Zimbra is the possibility that users have to access this app even if they are not on-line.
Regarding the e-mail feature, Yahoo’s Zimbra will support not only Yahoo Mail, but also AOL Mail Web and strangely Gmail, regardless it is a service provided by Yahoo’s greatest competitor. The other features will be based on the correspondent Yahoo’s services (like Yahoo! Calendar).
As stated the greatest feature of Zimbra is that it will cache all the data on the user’s computer, so it can be used even while off-line; of course the greatest benefit of this is that you can take advantage of the benefits of a standard application while you are at your computer and in the same time you can still access all the information while you travel. This is especially true for documents, managed by Zimbra Documents, that can be created and edited without switching between desktop programs or e-mailing them.
Yahoo bought Zimbra for $350 million in September 2007 in order to add Web 2.0 features to its traditional services.
Yahoo Zimbra Desktop Beta Version 3 can be downloaded for free from its site.
Yahoo’s announcement: http://yhoo.client.shareholder.com/press/releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=324243;
Yahoo Zebra’s official site: http://www.zimbra.com/products/desktop.html.