Oh well, my bet was on Cisco to acquire Zimbra. Zimbra is one of the more innovative companies in the collaboration space. Karen covers the e-mail market in much more depth and her analysis of the acquisition is here. I have a tiered perspective on this deal but overall, positive:
Skeptical: Yahoo! has not been successful in past efforts to make customers out of traditional large enterprises (efforts in the portal and instant messaging space were disappointing). I'm not sure Zimbra alone will alter the decision-making criteria in large shops already invested in Microsoft or IBM. A credible option might be for Yahoo! to take a hands-off approach. Letting "Zimbra be Zimbra" will continue to make the technology attractive to open source enthusiasts. The more Yahoo! interjects itself into Zimbra's enterprise activities, the more distant large enterprises will become based on the lack of credibility on the part of Yahoo! concerning the enterprise software market.
Skeptical: There is a lot of general criticism towards Yahoo! over the past few months regarding organizational dynamics, market strategies and so on. I'm not sure this deal clarifies that bigger picture. Without further clarification - it could look like just another tangent.
Optimistic: In the SMB space this could play well.
Positive: In certain market segments (carrier/telco/isp's) and verticals (e.g., education), this will be well-received.
Positive: In the consumer space this will also be helpful to Yahoo! overall.
We will continue to make our software available for download and continue to offer Zimbra software and support as usual. This evolution further allows Zimbra to exceed its current (and future) customer expectations by leveraging the world class Yahoo! email experience and expertise. Partnering continues to be a very important pillar of Yahoo!'s strategy and this combination will have a renewed focus on partnerships across the globe including our 350+ VAR and hosting partners. The combination of the two companies will only enhance the level of commitment and support to our hosting partners who will remain a key focus for us moving forward.
Yahoo! is also a major proponent of open technologies and this combination is a further testament to how serious they are about their intentions. You will continue to see active participation in developer APIs and forums. We are committed to continue keeping the source open available for use and we will continue to offer the network version that will contain value added proprietary features on top of the open product.