Eudora, the email client that introduced many in the earlier days of the internet to email, officially died May 1, although not that many people noticed. Qualcomm decided to open source the Eudora code and the good folks at Mozilla have resurrected the once great desktop email client.
Code name Penelope (Eudora 8.0.0b1) is now available for download here.
According to Ars Technica the client is essentially Thunderbird with a Eudora skin. Keyboard shortcuts, toolbar icons, menu structures and behavior from Eudora are all present in the new Mozilla designed version. The new Eudora development team includes the same Qualcomm developers from the original Eudora team who are now providing their services in a voluntary capacity.
Many would argue that desktop email clients are old hat in the days of web based email, but some of us still prefer desktop clients, particularly when Gmail still doesn’t support folders.
I last tried Eudora about 18 months ago after experiencing problems with Thunderbird under Windows XP (I’ve since switched to a Mac); it was like channeling the past, the interface still looked similar to what I remember it did under Windows 3.11.
Kudos though to Mozilla, again they show what a properly formed open source development foundation can do, particularly one that isn’t overtly influenced by commercial interests. I’m not sure how many people will be rushing to download Eudora, but it’s nice to know that something with such a rich history goes on.