Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Eudora goes open source, and joins Thunderbird

I began using Eudora 2.x on the Mac, back when Steve Dorner owned it. I even corresponded with him. When I went to Windows I moved my email files to Win 95 and ran Eudora there. I still use in on my XP box, even though it’s definitely showing its age. I figured I’d eventually move all my mail archives to a future version of OS X’s and use Gmail for much of my routine emailing, but to my surprise Eudora has a migration path …

MacInTouch: timely news and tips about the Apple Macintosh

... Qualcomm … and the Mozilla Foundation… announced that future versions of Eudora will be based upon the same technology platform as the open source Mozilla Thunderbird email program. Future versions of Eudora will be free and open source, while retaining Eudora's uniquely rich feature set and productivity enhancements. Qualcomm and Mozilla will each participate in, and continue to foster development communities based around the open source Mozilla project, with a view to enhancing the capabilities and ease of use of both Eudora and Thunderbird.

Qualcomm also today announced that it has released the final commercial versions of the current Eudora products for Windows and Mac operating systems. The open source version of Eudora is targeted to release during the first half of calendar year 2007. Once the open source version of Eudora is released, Qualcomm will cease to sell Eudora commercially. In the interim, Qualcomm will continue commercial sales, at a reduced price of $19.95 and with a six-month period of technical support. Existing technical support commitments will be honored in their entirety.
"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." ...

I had no idea Steve still worked for Qualcomm, and for him this probably really is going “home”. it sounds like a win-win for Mozilla and Eudora email users, and a credit to Qualcomm. They really didn't have to bother providing a migration path, they could have just killed Eudora.

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