The name Eudora is synonymous with email, having been around for over ten years. While both Netscape Communicator and Microsoft Internet Explorer offer email options, the latter through Outlook Express, millions of people around the world use Eudora Pro and the freeware Light version.
Why use a third-party program when email software is built into your Web browser? A number of reasons. First, Qualcomm has a reputation for support and product user-friendliness that is second-to-none. Second, Eudora Pro is a good emailer, offering numerous features. Extensive filtering, automatic name-completion on email addresses and multiple email accounts. There’s also the ability to send and receive email in the background, multiple signatures, HTML and graphics viewing within the body of a message – the list is almost endless.
But the main reason to give Eudora Pro 4.31 a really good look is it’s free...at a price. Most users will happily live with this catch, for Qualcomm has come up with an innovative marketing ploy. In Sponsored mode, Eudora Pro is full-featured, free of charge and even includes free technical support, with up to six calls per year. The catch is the meaning of ‘sponsored’ – there’s a small desktop box that displays a series of static adverts. As these are in PNG format, they’re small (less then 5K), and as they’re on the desktop, they don’t interfere with the workings of Eudora.
For those who really can’t live with adverts, Qualcomm offers two alternatives. Paid mode allows you to cough-up the registration fee of $39.95 for the full package, less the adverts. The Light mode is essentially a more modern version of the older Eudora Light – less functionality, but again, no adverts. If you’re currently a registered user of Eudora Pro, don’t worry: the Paid mode of version 4.3 is free.
Some users have voiced concerns over Qualcomm’s apparent ‘getting into bed’ with advertisers. Although it’s a fine line, Qualcomm appears to be treading on the right side. You can fill out a profile and give an indication of what kind of adverts you’d like to see, or simply take pot luck. Either way, clicking on an advert gives no information about you to that advertiser. Consequently it’s a safe solution.
Eudora Light has been my personal emailer since 1994 and, although various jobs have dictated the use of both Communicator and Outlook Express, I’ve never changed my home set-up. Until now. The upgrade to Eudora Pro 4.3 was seamless and the adverts are bearable. Try it – Communicator and Outlook Express’s settings, mail and address books can be imported, and the installer is sitting on this month’s cover CD.