Late in December, Qualcomm Inc announced that they were changing their marketing strategy for their flag ship email client, Eudora Pro. Effectively, they are now giving away Eudora Pro for free, but in exchange they have simple advertisements displayed. Two other options exist – Retail, where you pay for the product and have the ability to turn off the ads and Light where a lot of the options are disabled, including ads (why anyone would choose this option is beyond me, but it is there none the less). The sponsors advertisements are displayed in a small floating palette and are static images as so not to distract the user from the programs main purpose – the reading and composition of email.
I have using Eudora since I first got a Macintosh, starting with about Eudora Light v1.1 and gradually upgrading to Eudora Pro 3.x, and then v4.x as I advanced along in my email usage. In recent years little work has occurred with the Eudora Light application, yet I had always hoped that they would upgrade Eudora Light to include some of the features that they added to the Pro version, particularly “personalities”, even limited to two personalities. Qualcomm have exceeded my wildest expectations by releasing “the Pro version” for “free”. I have been running the beta of v4.3 and have found it to be as fully functional as my fully paid for Eudora Pro v4.2. The small sponsor advertisement screen is only about 2 inches by two inches and on screen sizes of this era that isn’t too intrusive and the fact that they are static images, unlike a lot of advertising on web pages, makes them even less annoying. Eventually, you’ll even have the option to customise the type of advertisements you receive.
According to the Eudora press release, Eudora includes the following features;
- Enhanced filters – Organize messages easily with the Make Filter command and new filter actions (personality, sound, open, print, forward, redirect, reply, server options, label, speak).
- Powerful searches – Enter multiple search criteria and specific folders and mailboxes to search.
- In-line spell checking – Highlight misspelled words automatically, or at the press of a button.
- Multiple signatures – Create a variety of signatures that can be tied to specific user identities.
- Composition of styled text – Specify the font, color, size, style, margins and more.
- Import option – (Windows only) Import settings, mail and address books from Microsoft Outlook Express 5.0 (or older) or Netscape Communicator 4.0.
- Multi-tasking – Compose, receive and send mail simultaneously. By checking and sending mail as a background operation, users can work in other applications while email is being processed.
- IMAP support – Access mailboxes and mail folders that are stored on a remote IMAP server, and download messages only when needed.
- Multiple personalities – Create, edit and delete different personalities (email identities and accounts), and check mail for one or more personalities all from one place.
- Automatic name completion – Type in the first few letters when addressing an email and Eudora fills in the complete name and address using information from the Address Book.
- User-configurable toolbar – Customize the look, size and orientation of toolbars.
- Color-coded message labels – Assign color-coded labels to incoming messages.
- Message preview pane – Preview messages quickly in this pane below the mailbox window.
- HTML-styled text and formatting – Insert embedded graphics, hyperlinks and bullets.
- Attachment forward and redirect – Include attachments on forwarded and redirect messages.
- Embedded HTML graphics – View images within messages, without opening a browser.
- Auto-wrap plain text messages – Automatically adjusts text to the width of the display.
- Speak option – Have highlighted or open messages read aloud.
- Animated GIF images (Mac) – Display animated images embedded in HTML message.
For those upgrading to v4.3 from v4.2 there are a few minor bug fixes, but most of the work went into adding the advertisements. Another release is expected later this year with many improvements and features. If you’d like to contribute suggestions on feature sets that you’d like to see included in future releases of Eudora, email Qualcomm at email@example.com.
The final release of v4.3 should occur on January 26, 2000 and will able available for download for both Windows and Macintosh from http://www.eudora.com.
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