This is perhaps the most interesting news I’ve heard all week. According to MacWorld, Qualcomm is opensourcing Eudora. I’ve only been using Eudora since version 3.0, and it has always been my preferred email client on all my Macintosh systems. When OS X came out, I never embraced Apple’s Mail, simply because Eudora had so much of my old email, and by now I can’t seem to match the comfort level with any other mail client. About the only email interface that I feel comfortable with is webmail via Horde and Gmail. Although I use Mozilla Thunderbird daily, it still feels slow and alien to me, every time I use it. In reality, Eudora’s interface is so 90’s. The interface feels out of place in OS X and a little hard to use compared to modern GUI apps. Still I can’t seem to feel very fond of Thunderbird’s huge icons and web browser like interface. On the otherside of the pond, there’s Outlook and I cringe daily at how complicated Outlook really is. It would be great if someone could make an email client that can do everything Outlook can do, but do it in a clean and friendly interface, kind of like what Apple did for the MP3 player with iTunes.

For OS X users, it looks like Eudora 6.2.4 will be the last commercial version. Qualcomm expects the first Mozilla Eudora opensource version to come out in 2007, but who knows how well documented the code is after all these years. Most of all, I wonder what the interface will look like in the future? Eudora needs a good GUI makeover.

Eudora Revisited

  • Qualcomm’s Penelope Project intends to build an extension to Mozilla Thunderbird that will make Thunderbird look similar to Eudora.
  • Correo is an open-source project that aims to use Mozilla code to develop a native mail application for Mac OS X users, doing for email what Camino did for the Web browser.
  • Infinity Data Systems – MailForge is a commercial project that intends to build a new email client that looks and feels similar to Eudora.