Zimbra Desktop, IMAP, Yahoo, Microsoft, and Google

The big news today is that the latest release of Yahoo Zimbra Desktop can be used to access YMail messages via IMAP. For details, see Zimbra Desktop Beta 3’s New Features in the Zimbra blog. Here is an excerpt:
Yahoo! Mail users rejoice - There’s now IMAP access through Zimbra Desktop to all free, plus, and business accounts. You didn’t read that wrong. Normally only Plus accounts have POP access, but as a perk when using Zimbra Desktop the mail is synced via IMAP; which is a much better protocol for keeping your mail organized - and yes it’s available to free accounts as well. . . .
This release makes Zimbra Desktop available to a quarter-billion Yahoo! users with support for 20+ languages.
As always, Zimbra Desktop includes these features:
  • Email, contacts, and calendar all in one application
  • Available for Windows, Apple, or Linux desktop computers
  • Any POP or IMAP email account can be added to Zimbra Desktop
  • Zimbra Desktop is free for anyone
Lots more Zimbra Desktop features are listed on the Zimbra Desktop features page.

This is big news because it means that Zimbra Desktop -- and its soon-to-be millions of YMail users -- might have a real chance of overthrowing the Microsoft desktop email clients (Outlook, Outlook Express, Entourage, etc.) and eventually maybe even Exchange. This might be one of the reasons that Microsoft was so eager to buy Yahoo.

The surprise for me is that Yahoo beat Google at doing this. On 27 January 2005, in a comp.mail.imap thread titled IMAP for Gmail, I predicted Google would do something like this. Here's an excerpt of my post:
I bet that Gmail is creating their own desktop IMAP client and that they are going to release Gmail server-side IMAP simultaneously with the Gmail IMAP client.
I still think that Google is going to do something like this, probably based on Gears. I discuss Gears, Prism (which Zimbra Desktop is based on), and rich internet applications in general in my blog item titled The Cloud, WebApps, and Desktop Apps.

To learn more about today's release of Zimbra Desktop, see:

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Hashtag: #zimbra-deskt [?]

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It seems that this year Google's most popular web applications will work offline. After Google Reader and Google Docs, two other services will integrate with Gears. Andrew Fogg saw a preview of the integration at Google's offices and found that Gmail and Google Calendar will add offline support in approximately 6 weeks.

source: http://googlesystem.blogspot.com/2008/07/gmail-and-google-calendar-to-add.html
 

 

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