Dan Farber writes about “a new open source project and collaboration suite from Zimbra offers good insight into Web 2.0 and where ‘desktop’ applications are heading. ”
Zimbra’s desktop and wireless clients uses standard protocols like IMAP, POP, MAPI and iCal, and interfaces with common clients (via a migration wizard) such as Outlook, Apple Mail and Eudora. The zero-footprint client (no download) runs on Windows, Linux, and Mac using Firefox and IE. A screen shot gallery is here, and the company has a flash and hosted demos.
The AJAXed interface and design decisions make e-mail and calendaring much less clunky compared to other e-mail clients. For example, information, such as calendar, tracking numbers, CRM data, map info (see below) and real-time inventory counts, can be accessed with messages via a rollover. Skype is also integrated into the clientroll over name, get the phone number and call. These “mash-ups” that surface external information in a meassge, and the fact that it is a Web client that has the richness of a desktop client, is a good barometer for what’s to come from any software developer on the face of the planet.
David Beisel writes about a recent announcement by Motorola ot offer push services on the mobile phone:
[The] 1×1 display has until recently been overlooked as a vehicle for information communication. Always with you and referenced perhaps dozens of times per day, it carries a lot of possibilities with it. Right now my own background screen is terribly boring calendar. Updated news and weather information would be a great replacement, if only just a first step to more personalized content.
For me, this development is interesting from both a consumer standpoint and VC one. How will the ads be displayed in a manner so as to not become too intrusive? Unlike a PC browser where ads and content can be displayed simultaneously, the physical space for advertising in conjunction with content is limited. How will ads proliferate in a manner not to propagate attention theft? It seems all too easy to annoy people if all they want to do is make a call or quickly check a piece of info. From a VC vantage, I am excited about the potential for infrastructure companies to spring up supporting this advertising medium, like mobile ad networks or ad insertion providers.