I’ve used Eudora as my primary email program for, well, forever. At least ten years. Every time I try an alternative, whether desktop or web-based, I find its interface and features inferior to what Eudora gives me. It’s far from perfect, and it hasn’t advanced much in several years, but I still think it’s the best email productivity tool out there. According to Eudora’s statistics, I spent over 500 hours last year in the application.
So, the announcement from Qualcomm, Eudora’s owner, that it will be transitioning the software to the open source Thunderbird project under the Mozilla Foundation, produces mixed feelings for me. A modern, open source Eudora, regularly updated, would be delightful. On the other hand, I’ve tried Thunderbird a few times and found it lacking. It’s not bad, and in many ways it’s better than Outlook, but it’s no Eudora. If the open source Eudora community can somehow preserve the elements that distinguish Eudora from everything else out there (especially the search function and multiple mailbox windows on-screen), I’ll jump for joy. If not, I’ll keep using my old-fangled version of the app as long as it still runs.