Eudora reborn as open-source application

The open-source version of Eudora is now available for download, three months after the e-mail client stopped selling commercially.

Eudora was a pioneering e-mail program developed by Steve Dorner in 1988 as a part of his studies at the University of Illinois. Qualcomm acquired Eudora in 1991, and during the next eight years the e-mail client enjoyed a strong following among its loyal user base.

However, it gradually lost out to the creeping domination of Microsoft's Outlook, and in October 2006 Qualcomm donated Eudora to the open-source community, namely the Mozilla Foundation.

Qualcomm ceased selling Eudora commercially on May 1.

But the e-mail package has now risen from a technical grave, after the Mozilla Foundation released the first beta version, 8.0.0b1, of the revised Eudora e-mail application.

The new Eudora is a branded extension of the open-source Thunderbird e-mail client. "It's not our intention to compete with Thunderbird; rather we want to complement it," says Mozilla.

The new version of Eudora is being developed under the code name Penelope, and indeed the project is being led by the former Qualcomm team, including original developer Steve Dorner.

A full replacement version of Eudora is not expected until 2008, at the very earliest.

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Tom Jowitt

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