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Yahoo Tries to Outdo Outlook with Zimbra

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Yahoo has a new plan to seemingly lure AOL and Gmail users into its service.

The company has released the beta version of Zimbra Desktop, an offline mail client marketed specifically to users of Yahoo Mail, AOL Mail, and Gmail. The utility offers POP and IMAP access as well as offline access to the iCal calendar function.

The program includes a list of other features, such as offline access to the Zimbra Documents and Zimbra Briefcase programs. None of them, however, appear to offer anything significantly different from or better than what users could find on Gmail or any other popular third-party mail client. Here are the primary selling points:

  • “All your accounts in one place.”
    Yeah… Gmail’s been offering that option for ages. So does Outlook, Thunderbird, and basically every other desktop mail utility.
  • “Better for big inboxes.”
    Maybe a slight advantage over Outlook, though not Gmail. Still, not enough to warrant a switch, at least for me.
  • “Be more productive.”
    The statement here is that Zimbra Desktop can manage contacts, calendar appointments, documents, and tasks. See previous statement about Gmail, Outlook, etc.

This is a strange one. It’s clear what Yahoo is attempting to do with the Zimbra Desktop program — but at this point, I’m not sure why anyone would bother switching from their current e-mail system. It’s a decent enough program, sure, but why would I bother migrating over? It strikes me as someone saying, “Hey…want a program incredibly similar to what you’re currently using? It does most things about as well.”

Maybe it’s just me, but I’m not seeing the value.

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