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Does VMware buying Zimbra from Yahoo make sense?

We don’t for certain that VMware, the giant proprietary virtualization company, is buying Zimbra, the open-source e-mail server company from Yahoo, but that’s the news from the rumor-mill. But, it’s not just any rumor, Kara Swisher, a columnist at the Wall Street Journal and one of the most respected technology reporters around, started the story off when she wrote that Yahoo was close to selling Zimbra to VMware. Since then other sources, including some of my own, have confirmed that the deal is close to happening. The real question is: “Why VMware?”

The question isn’t, “Why is Yahoo trying to sell Zimbra?” If you follow Yahoo you know why that is. Yahoo needs cash for its disgruntled stockholders who still aren’t happy that Microsoft didn’t buy them out.

Besides, as Swisher reported earlier this year Zimbra isn’t a good fit with Yahoo’s attempt to refocus on the consumer market. Zimbra is an excellent business e-mail and groupware server. Zimbra isn’t meant to be an end-user program thoughl; it’s meant to be a drop-in replacement for Microsoft Exchange.

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