Open source collaboration

December 20, 2007

The FOSS community is a beacon of collaboration. What surprises me is that there haven’t been any real hardcore collaboration software created (though the community does so much of it!).

There have been several posts of late about the kind of collaboration software available in the open source domain. One slashdot post went on to say that there weren’t any good alternatives to Outlook + exchange combo, esp for calendaring.

In the open source world, there seems to be a lot of activity happening. I am hoping I can get at least one word out about each of the things happening.

I thought I listing all the major projects going on, but I was beaten to it. Here is a list of collaboration software. Since we have the list with us, there are a few companies I have looked at and thus will talk about.

In the collaboration market, we know of Zimbra – this project started to create a web based collaboration suite and they succeeded. Yahoo! bought them for quite a significant $350 mil! This goes to show there is quite some zest in the market.

Other players in the league are Scalix – the Exchange Killer.

We are seeing lots of action on the Chandler Project. There are others like SOGo, which are working on the TBird and Lightening combination.

From what I have heard, SUN is showing a lot of interest towards Thunderbird and trying to make it compatible with Openoffice. How that pans out would be great to see.

And for all you web only afficionados, Ulteo has done something wonderful with Openoffice – take it completely online and added collaborative document editting features. So the open source brigade seem to be gearing up to take on the big guys: M$ Office + Exchange + Outlook, Lotus Domino series.

What seems to be the best part about the FOSS projects is that there are a few that also help do what a Sharepoint does. Wouldn’t it be great to have a piece of software that combines most used features of Outlook + collaborativeness of Sharepoint but be a completely platform independant open source software. Would you bet on such a software? Would you be willing to pay for it?

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