In case you missed it, aging mail app Eudora will be put to pasture after its final commercial release (v7.1 on Windows, v6.2 on Mac) and reincarnated as a modified version of Mozilla’s open source mail app, Thunderbird:
“I’m excited for Eudora to be returning to the open source community,” said Steve Dorner, vice president of technology for QUALCOMM’s Eudora Group. “Using the Mozilla Thunderbird technology platform as a basis for future versions of Eudora will provide some key infrastructure that the existing versions lacked, such as a cross-platform code base and a world-class display engine. Making it open source will bring more developers to bear on Eudora than ever before.”
The company hopes that the Mozilla open source community will extend the feature set of Eudora (which is currently commercial software) much in the same way that they have done for Thunderbird. It’s a great development for the open source productivity space. Will it kill Microsoft Outlook? No, but it’s going to make millions of users who prefer alternative email clients very happy.
Eudora is a well-loved if somewhat outdated email client that many people (Qualcomm claims millions of users, which sounds accurate) continue to use just for its unique feature set. Eudora can tell you if emails in your inbox contain inflammatory language before you open them, and it has some robust spam features. There’s a sponsored version of the client, as well, and my guess is that the ad-supported version will go the way of the ghost when Eudora becomes open source.
What with so many AJAX clients out there, including Apple’s upcoming DotMacMail, this development is not entirely surprising. For stalwart Eudora users who have much resisted the allure and blinding shininess of Web 2.0, this could spell the real beginning of the end of Web 1.0.