Virtualisation software pioneer VMware is to branch out into email and collaboration tools with the acquisition of Zimbra, a provider of open source and web-based messaging software that is currently owned by web giant Yahoo!, as reported last week on the All Things Digital blog.
Zimbra’s email software "will be a building block in an expanding portfolio of solutions that can be offered as a virtual appliance or by a cloud service provider," said Brian Byun, VMware’s vice president for cloud services.
Yahoo! has reportedly been looking to offload Zimbra, which it acquired in 2007 for $350 million – a price described as ‘staggering’ at the time, as part of a scheme to reverse its ailing fortunes by divesting non-core properties.
Having been largely dominated by Microsoft’s Exchange product in past, the business email market has recently become the target of a number of new entrants. Google’s online email offering has gained some enterprise adoption, while networking giant Cisco recently announced its own forthcoming hosted email service.