Open-Source E-Mail Options Expanding - InformationWeek

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Open-Source E-Mail Options Expanding

Scalix, Lotus Notes, Open-Xchange, and Zimbra have announcements or upgrades planned for this week's LinuxWorld expo.

A scrum of scrappy e-mail providers are updating their offerings, pegging their news to LinuxWorld Expo opening in San Francisco on Monday.

The new Scalix 11 promises better support for Microsoft Outlook clients, improved support for mobile clients, and more flexible administration and delegation options. With this release, for example, a manager can delegate access to his or her calendar or inbox to an administrative assistant, , said Glenn Winokur, CEO of the San Mateo, Calif.-based company

Scalix has positioned its e-mail and calendaring as a viable alternative to Microsoft Exchange Server. Winokur and others in the e-mail world feel that if another vendor can offer great support for the Microsoft Outlook client, they can take share on the server side, especially as some companies balk at expense of locking into the Microsoft stack.

"Seventy-six percent of business users are on Outlook," Winokur told CRN.

A community preview will be available this month with general availability slated for November. Earlier this summer, Scalix said it would put components of its community preview into the open source world.

Pricing for the enterprise edition remains $60 per user or $12 per user per year subscription. The addition of two new user classes, premium and standard, makes it easier for companies to add new and incremental users cheaply. The standard edition is free, although it does not include access to group calendars or public folders.

The new micro-browser based mail interface for mobile users will be free. The full PDA support with SyncML support will carry an additional charge although that has yet to be determined, according to Winokur. More information on that will be disclosed this fall, he said.

IBM's Lotus group, which competes for the market share lead with Microsoft Exchange, released its own full Linux Notes client this summer.

Open-Xchange, the Tarrytown, N.Y., e-mail competitor said last week that it worked with SpikeSource to dub Open-Xchange Server 5 as a "SpikeT"-certified solution. SpikeSource was founded to integrate, test, and certify enterprise applications running atop the Linux, Apache, Tomcat stacks.

Zimbra, another closely-watched open source collaboration player, will launch Zimbra Documents for creating, sharing, and publishing documents and folders within and between enterprises and organizations. Zimbra Documents is a new perk within the newly announced Zimbra Collaboration Suite 4.0 .

Zimbra co-founder and CEO Satish Dharmaraj said in a statement that Zimbra Documents ,which lets users create and share documents and spreadsheets with a WYSIWYG editor, and then publish them to the Web," combines the best capabilities of Wikis and Public Folders."

This is the first application created using AJAX Linking and Embedding technology Zimbra announced in April.

Aside from the free Open Source edition, the commercial Network Edition starts at $25 per mailbox per year for at least 25 users. Volume discounts are available.

In addition the new Zimbra Mobile adds client access for Motorola Q, Nokia E60,E61, N80, Palm Treo 700w, 700p and 650, and Blackberry 7130 and 8700 devices. This option for ZCS 4.0 starts at $500 for up to 50 users.

IBM's Lotus group, which competes for market share lead with Microsoft Exchange, released its own full Linux Notes client this summer.

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