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  1. #1
    cedrix Guest

    Default Microsoft to buy Yahoo / Zimbra

    Hi OX team and community,

    today i read the news that Microsoft has offered a bid for Yahoo, i immediately thought of what that means for Zimbra which has been acquired by Yahoo some months ago and is our current groupware solution (small company, 1200 seats). Well, this may not be the right place to discuss about other Projects - but if i understand correctly, Open-Xchange drives a similar business model, publishing parts of the sourcecode under a attribution license but is no real "free like freedom" software.
    I am very sure that we'll not stay with Zimbra if Microsoft/Yahoo finalize the deal, and i really dont believe that MS will continue community or commercial support/development for in-house competition.

    I am just curious what protects my possible investment to a commercial or community based OX software if, for example Novell realizes that dropping SLOX was a mistake and buys Open-Xchange to replace Groupwise (just as an example). One year ago Zimbra was the shiny leader of alternative Groupware solutions, now they're dumped and OX did a very very big step forward (not just at the UI side, the server part is also great).

    As far as i can see the Zimbra people now have two big problems:
    #1 - The Sourcecode will probably be legally owned by a company that has no interest in pushing development and may change the licence.
    #2 - Commercial Support/Testing/Development/Research will be dumped or users may be forced to use another software product.

    As far as i see those problems could also become possible if the company behind the OX project gets acquired - i know you already had your experiences with the aquiration of SuSE by Novell, what do you tell interested developers or customers about securing their dedication to OX? Wouldn't it be far better to get rid of those not-completely-free license stuff like CC and holding crucial parts of the code back? I can understand that from a business standpoint - but for customers or contributors it means that their dedication (monetarily or contribution) is always in a flow of changing directions.

  2. #2
    Rene Stach Guest

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by cedrix View Post
    today i read the news that Microsoft has offered a bid for Yahoo, i immediately thought of what that means for Zimbra which has been acquired by Yahoo some months ago and is our current groupware solution (small company, 1200 seats). Well, this may not be the right place to discuss about other Projects - but if i understand correctly, Open-Xchange drives a similar business model, publishing parts of the sourcecode under a attribution license but is no real "free like freedom" software.
    I am very sure that we'll not stay with Zimbra if Microsoft/Yahoo finalize the deal, and i really dont believe that MS will continue community or commercial support/development for in-house competition.
    When I have read the news about this deals I also thought about Zimbra and the people working there. From my point of view this is the danger a company has to live with that was built for one simple goal: Get VC money, spend lot of it for marketing and sell the company off with a huge profit.

    Regarding the "free like freedom": Open-Xchange is licensed under GPL (the server part) and CC (the GUI part). Both licenses allow to use the software and change it, but the CC license does not allow commercial use (like selling the software). IMHO this is free like freedom.

    I am just curious what protects my possible investment to a commercial or community based OX software if, for example Novell realizes that dropping SLOX was a mistake and buys Open-Xchange to replace Groupwise (just as an example).
    What protects Yahoo from being bought by Microsoft? I think there isn't much. But it is a difference if a company is built with the purpose to get sold (with a high profit for investors) or to be self-sustainable with a long term vision.

    As far as i can see the Zimbra people now have two big problems:
    #1 - The Sourcecode will probably be legally owned by a company that has no interest in pushing development and may change the licence.
    #2 - Commercial Support/Testing/Development/Research will be dumped or users may be forced to use another software product.
    Right. The big question is: Is Microsoft going to enter the Linux market and establishing a competitor to MS Exchange in their own house? I don't think so. Exchange is a good cash cow and selling Exchange means to sell an operating system too and a lot of desktop operating systems and clients. Why should MS maintain a solution that is just hroupware with no need to buy anything else?


    René

    PS: I still have no idea why Yahoo has bought Zimbra. Of course, Zimbra is a nice groupware solution for the small and medium business, but the Zimbra technology is definitely nothing for serious hosting companies.
    Last edited by Rene Stach; 02-03-2008 at 12:50 PM.

  3. #3
    jpc230 Guest

    Wink

    I think one of the major drawbacks of OX over Zimbra is that, the installation of OX is really COMPLEXE, there is no official userguide or admin guide and there is no admin tool as well.

    OX did that in purpose, so people buy only the commercial version of OX. it's a if you are buying a car without any wheel or tyres (you've got to do it your self).

    OPEN source is no longer what it used to be, now it's all about paying, paying, paying, and paying again .....

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Germany
    Posts
    3,695

    Default

    Hi,

    well it's correct that Open-Xchange Inc. would like to earn some profit from the software, but they also have invested a HUGE amount of money and manyears to this project so i guess it's just fair to have the chance to get some of that investment back, Zimbra, Jive, Funambol and other projects backed by commercial companies also do this.
    Don't mix up free like freedom and free like free beer. There are also evaluation version of the commercial product available if you'd like to evaluate them, the Community Edition IS NO playground or evaluation version of the commercial packages!
    You're right that there is some work to do to make the installation, documentation and administration more easy, but well - Open-Xchange IS a complex product and the installation has become much easier than in the early days now. There is a installation manual, there is a automatic installer and there are debian packages as well as administration documentation and a graphical administration interface, what else should be supplied?
    Last edited by Martin Heiland; 02-20-2008 at 10:48 AM.

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