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Eudora now in open source release

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Future lies with Mozilla Foundation


I am sure that many remember Eudora as the E-mail solution of choice long before everyone switched to Microsoft Outlook. Eudora is making a comeback of sorts, after being EOL(ed) (end-of-line) by Qualcomm after Qualcomm withdrew from the E-mail business. Eudora has returned with a free open source beta release of version 8.

While this might not seem like big news because most of the world has moved on to Microsoft Outlook/Outlook Express or Web mail, the reality is that Eudora always received strong reviews and recommendations; it was just overshadowed by offerings from Microsoft. Now, with the first open source release of Eudora, the path is clear for Eudora to make a strong reappearance.

The new open source version of Eudora is being developed in conjunction with the Mozilla Foundation and is not being developed as a replacement for Mozilla Thunderbird, but rather as a complement to it. Future versions of Eudora will be based on the same technology platform as Thunderbird and will be known under the project codename “Penelope.”  The Mozilla Foundation has indicated that they have a plan in place to continue the development of both Eudora and Mozilla.

Eudora, while lacking some of the whiz-bang features found in Outlook, did an excellent job of handling POP3/SMTP E-mail, and it is nice to see it rekindled again as an alternative to the Microsoft product empire.  It will be interesting to see if open sourcing of Eudora will translate to more users of the program.

One of the main reasons that Qualcomm left the E-mail software market was because they were squeezed out by the adoption of Outlook and Web-based E-mail. While Eudora users at one point topped over ten million worldwide and it enjoyed distribution agreements with IBM/Lotus, it will take some time for the open source version of Eudora to reach that number of users again.

Find out more about the Penelope project here.

Read more about the release of the first open source Eudora beta here.

Read the story that inspired this article here.

Last modified on 10 September 2007
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