announcements from Microsoft, it only seems reasonable for Yahoo to make at least some announcements about cloud computing as well. Today, Yahoo announced that it will offer the Zimbra collaboration suite as a hosted solution for educational institutions. According to Yahoo, over 400 schools are already using Zimbra at this time. While this hosted solution is currently only available to educational institutions, chances are that Yahoo is testing the waters with this release and will soon offer a similar solution to small businesses.Given yesterday's cloud computing
Before Yahoo offered this hosted solution, users had to either deploy Zimbra on their own servers, or partner with a 'Zimbra Hosted Service Providers'.
Zimbra did not release any information about the pricing for this hosted solution, but the company guarantees a 99.9% uptime and will provide 24/7 support. Otherwise, the hosted Zimbra platform provides the same feature set as the self-hosted version, though faculty and staff get a few extra features for group scheduling and Outlook synchronization. Zimbra also offers schools the option to run advertising on the service, though we assume that most schools will opt out of this.
In the educational market, Zimbra is competing directly with Google, which has been providing an 'Education Edition' of Google Apps for about two years already, and which, thanks to the inclusion of Google Docs and Sites, provides a slightly more comprehensive feature set than Yahoo currently can.