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Zoom reportedly set to launch email and calendar apps

The firm aims to move beyond video conferencing and take on the likes of Google Workspace and Microsoft Office with "Zmail" and "Zcal"

Zoom is reportedly planning to launch email and calendar apps as it continues to expand beyond video conferencing.

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The "Zmail" and "Zcal" services have been in the works for two years, according to The Information, which cites people familiar with the projects. Zoom declined to comment on the matter, though reports suggest both could be unveiled in November at its annual Zoomtopia conference. 

These additions would help evolve Zoom from a video conferencing specialist into a fully-fledged competitor to the likes of Google Workspace and Microsoft Office. The company has already taken on the likes of Slack with greater chat capabilities and collaboration tools such as digital whiteboards.

With its own email and calendar services Zoom would be able to integrate more deeply with companies that already use its services as both can be used for scheduling video meetings. Though the reasoning behind these new services may be more about both Microsoft and Google - and even Slack - trying to muscle Zoom out the way. For example, Google is adding more and more functionality to Meet and even improving the way it works with its other products like Gmail and Google Calendar. 

Looking more widely, there is a general trend of software companies expanding their services to become more holistic. Both Workspace and Microsoft Office have undergone extensive changes and transformations since the pandemic as they have sought to carter more towards the hybrid office. 

One could argue that much of this could be attributed to the sharp rise of Zoom as a video conferencing service. The company offered simple and affordable - also free - video conferencing and initially, it has to be said, better quality than competing services like Microsoft Teams. That is no longer the case and as companies begin tightening budgets due to the looming financial crisis, Zoom could be seen as an unnecessary extra. Unless, of course, it can offer more for a competitive price. 

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