Think e-mail software and the chances are you think Outlook, or Outlook Express, either of which you might have obtained for free in various ways.
Getting software for free is not the only reason to use it, of course, but it can make a more attractive proposition than buying software. But weigh up its free-of-charge nature against the fact that many viruses use the Outlook address book to propagate themselves and you might want to look around for alternatives. If you are considering a move away from Outlook, Eudora has an immediate, compelling plus-point: it can also be run in a ‘free’ mode.
Eudora has been this reviewer’s e-mail client of choice for many years, during which time it has developed considerably. It has to be said that the interface can sometimes be irritating with its many windows and tabbed options, but once you get to know it, Eudora has some nice features.
For example, it is possible to have a whole range of e-mail templates which can be used with just two mouse clicks, and several signatures which can be chosen as needed with a single click. You can maintain and use a number of group e-mailing lists, automatically and regularly poll multiple POP e-mail accounts for messages, assign seven coloured labels to e-mails if you want to be really organised, set up automatic filtering of mails into folders, arrange for e-mail messages to be spell-checked automatically as they are composed, and the list goes on.
There is plenty here that the average e-mail user should find worth having. There is even (new for version 6.1), a search window which will link out to your Web browser if you want to do a quick look-up of something. This is a treat. You just highlight a word or phrase in any e-mail, right-click and the menu lets you search all Eudora, the current mailbox, the current mail folder, or the Web (via Google) for what you’ve selected. Efficient searching within e-mails themselves is a useful feature which makes using the thousands of archived e-mails you will probably have quick and easy.
All this is available in Eudora’s free (Sponsored) mode. Working in this mode you get a small ad in the bottom left-hand corner of Eudora’s screen, which frankly is not a bother at all. More importantly, perhaps, you need to stump up the registration fee to get Eudora’s SpamWatch filter. This lets you tell Eudora which particular e-mails are junk, and it will use information from them to classify other e-mails in the same way, shoving them into a junk folder for you to look at or delete en masse later.
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