Whilst perusing t’web this lunch-time, whacking stuff into as I went, I came across this interesting story on The Register:

In April, Netline AG will launch a commercial version of its open source email product called Open-Xchange. Netline claims that Open-Xchange has 90-95 per cent of the functionality of Microsoft Exchange and SharePoint — providing most of its groupware functions including calendar, contacts, to dos, shared projects and documents, shared knowledge, forums, bookmarks, and web mail.

In his analysis, Martin Langham maintains that as they mature, most markets settle into three main players. For corporate email, he believes this means we’re talking about IBM and Microsoft, with room for a third lot: “In this market the third contender is likely to be open source and could well be Open-Xchange.”

Interesting stuff. Open-Xchange certainly sounds like something that could give basic groupware systems a run for their money. I’m a little dubious about the current groupware credentials — being able to kick Exchange’s arse doesn’t say much in this day and age — but the fact that this stuff is open source, can run on Linux and co. and has this particularly intriguing capability is cool:

Open-Xchange is modular and flexible so customers can configure only the functions they need, and Netline plans to evolve Open-Xchange into an object-to-object integrated collaboration environment.

I wonder whether MS will kick off about the product name? :-D

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