DEMO - Introducing e-mail's next generation

E-mail--among the least glamorous of applications, but arguably the most essential--is a logical focus of developers showing productivity tools at the Demo 2003 technology conference this week.

As the tech economy struggles to recover, Demo--once a launching pad for bleeding-edge technologies--is focusing more on the practical than the radical. And existing e-mail clients offer lots of opportunities for improvement.

"E-mail is the place where we're spending our business lives, and those products have to get a lot easier to use." said Chris Shipley, Demo executive producer, when introducing a session on e-mail. The event is produced by IDG Executive Forums, a sibling company of PC World.

E-Mail Overview

A few of the mail-related products and services unveiled here:

Bloomba: New e-mail clients don't come along every day, or even every year. But start-up Stata Laboratories Inc. hopes to lure mail mavens to Bloomba. Although its streamlined interface looks much like Microsoft's Outlook Express, this POP3 client replaces folders with Google-like tools that dynamically organize your in-box according to search terms you specify. Bloomba also dispenses with a traditional address book in favor of an auto-fill feature that grabs names from your incoming messages. A free beta version is available for download.

Ella: Like Bloomba, Open Field Software Inc.'s Ella aims to help tame overcrowded in-boxes. But Ella is a plug-in for your existing e-mail client. You train it to sort incoming messages into folders organized by priority--for example, folders for business mail, personal messages, newsletters, and spam. A beta of a basic version of Ella for Outlook is due soon; the more powerful Ella Pro for Outlook and Lotus Notes is planned for later this year.

Oddpost: This strange name yields an interesting service. Oddpost is a new browser-based competitor to Hotmail and Yahoo Mail. It has a slick, speedy drag-and-drop interface that looks and performs more like a desktop app than a Web client. A US$30 annual fee gets you 50MB of storage space, too.

Kubi Client: Another new add-on for Outlook and Notes is Kubi Software Inc.'s Kubi Client. The program tries to make groupware palatable by integrating it tightly into e-mail. Scheduled to ship in the second quarter of 2003, the program adds shared calendars and contact databases, discussion boards, document folders, and timelines to Outlook's and Notes' standard interfaces. Cross-platform compatibility will allow Outlook users to collaborate with Notes types and vice versa.

Spam-Fighters Rally

Multiple companies exhibiting at Demo aim to block the scourge of unsolicited e-mail at the server level.

SenderBase is a new service from e-mail hardware vendor IronPort Systems Inc. that aggregates data on mail coming into companies that use IronPort products. The service is designed for mail system managers, who can peruse the data to tell good senders from bad, and then block mail from likely spammers.

Meanwhile, two server-based spam fighters faced off in tests conducted by PC World's sibling publication Network World.

MailFrontier Inc.'s Anti-Spam Gateway and CloudMark Inc.'s Cloudmark Authority raced to find and zap spam in a simulation. Although MailFrontier's product won the competition, neither came close to eradicating all digital junk--proving that the battle against spam is nearly never-ending.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Harry McCracken

PC World
Show Comments





Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?