Yahoo paid $350m for Zimbra, the web email and collaboration software company, last September, but one wonders how much of that perceived value could be destroyed by Microsoft’s bid for the Sunnyvale company.
Zimbra today released version 5 of its collaboration suite. It adds synchronisation with Microsoft’s Outlook 2007, Blackberry email support, a version for mobile web browsers, instant messaging and an offline capability, among hundreds of enhancements. Read more
One man clearly immune to Steve Jobs’ famed "reality distortion field" is Ad Scheepbouwer, straight-talking CEO of KPN, the Dutch telecoms company. He decided that his iPhone was "pretty useless" so he gave it to his 20-year-old daughter. She didn’t rate it either. "She’s given it to her boyfriend," Mr Scheepbouwer told the FT. "He’s very happy with it, but it’s been three days so we’ll see how it ends."
Given that the iPhone isn’t yet officially available in the Netherlands (or any other country besides the US, UK, France and Germany) that’s surprisingly candid. KPN would like to sell the phone on the Dutch market and Apple has so far chosen to sell the iPhone tied to just one mobile operator in each country. But it probably also reflects what some pundits have said all along: Europeans generally expect to pay less and get more from their phones. There is some evidence for that with the news last month that the iPhone missed its sales target in the UK, where 02 has responded with better value calling plans. Read more
The Microsoft-Yahoo-Google tangle might end up making more money for the lawyers than it does for the investment bankers. It’s difficult to see any White Knights riding to Yahoo’s rescue, despite the rumours that have been swirling (As one tech banker says: "There’s one buyer, one target, and 300 investment bankers here all spinning their wheels.") But the regulatory morass should at least be good for the lawyers, and might well end up putting European competition commissioner Neelie Kroes in the hot seat.
Google and Microsoft have both started levelling anti-trust accusations, but what does all the mud-slinging add up to? These are the main issues at stake: Read more
Jerry Yang must be starting to understand how Alfred Chuang of BEA Systems felt when Larry Ellison of Oracle came calling last year. Like Chuang, the Yahoo boss has just been landed with a takeover offer at such a big premium that he can’t possibly just ignore it. Also like Chuang, the options for other deals – or for staying independent – are shrinking fast. Here are the other partnerships or alliances that Yang could have grabbed at in the last year or so, and the chances that he can turn to them again now as he looks for an alternative to Microsoft:
News Corp, sensing the chance to consolidate its position on the internet, at one stage proposed combining MySpace with Yahoo in return for a large stake in the internet portal. For Rupert Murdoch, the opportunistic move would have meant trading the hot social networking site for a slower growing but far more stable property, but Yahoo saw less value in the idea. To judge from the noises emanating from around News Corp today, there’s little interest in trying to revive the idea. Read more