Yahoo Unveils Zimbra Desktop

    July 25, 2008

An email-related Yahoo product might be expected to affect no more than Yahoo Mail, Ymail, and RocketMail.  Somebody’s been feeling energetic, though, as Yahoo Zimbra Desktop Beta will allow users to access even Gmail and AOL Mail while they’re offline.

"Zimbra is focused on creating communication and collaboration solutions that ease the pain points of traditional e-mail, and switching between multiple e-mail accounts is one of the communication headaches that users encounter on a daily basis," explained Satish Dharmaraj, Zimbra’s co-founder and a Yahoo vice president.

Satish Dharmaraj
 Satish Dharmaraj

In a statement, he then continued, "With Yahoo! Zimbra Desktop, we have taken our world-class collaboration suite and made it available for everyone for use anywhere, anytime, with any email account."

Any email account accessible by POP or IMAP, anyway.  And with that beta tag looming large, don’t bet on everything working perfectly.

Still, for a free product, Yahoo Zimbra Desktop Beta is pretty impressive.  Moreover, as far as timing goes, it seems that Yahoo managed to beat Google in providing offline support for Gmail.

Although this may not turn the search war’s tide, the development at least makes Yahoo’s $350 million acquisition of Zimbra look a little less odd.