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Yahoo Yanks Zimbra

It was a few weeks ago when I first touched base with email archiving startup Zimbra, shooting the breeze for a while with CTO Scott Dietzen.

One of a number of firms jostling for position in the archiving race, Zimbra was touting the ability to store emails and then perform e-discovery on them. Surprisingly, Dietzen explained his desire to challenge the storage/security behemoth that is Symantec.

It gave one pause. Here was a four-year-old startup with just over 100 employees and around a dozen customers taking aim at one of the biggest software companies in the IT industry. Sure, Zimbra's messaging/archiving/discovery trifecta sounded great, but going after Enterprise Vault seemed just a bit too David and Goliath.

Then, seemingly out of nowhere, Yahoo threw down $350 million for Zimbra, and Dietzen's bluster started to make more sense.

With Microsoft and Google cranking up their email archiving efforts over recent months, Yahoo has clearly earmarked Zimbra as a way to boost its Yahoo Mail offering, particularly in universities and businesses.