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Eudora now free (if you can stand the ads)

Eudora now free (if you can stand the ads)

To compete with free Web-based e-mail from companies like Hotmail and Yahoo, Qualcomm has revamped the way it offers Eudora Email. Users get one package that they can use in one of three ways: pay nothing for standard Eudora Lite; pay $50 for Eudora Pro; or accept an ad in the bottom left-hand corner of the interface and get all of Eudora Pro's features for free. I tested version 4.3 in beta, with the ad.

Because I wasn't connected to the Net when I first started using the program, there was no ad data to download; the software mistakenly concluded I was covering up the ad. Every 60 seconds it would urge me to uncover this Madison Avenue treasure. But simply restarting the interface allowed it to suck the ad data off the Web and position it properly. Be warned that you'll run into this behavior if you try to hide the ad in any way.

There's more to the new release than the pricing bundles. Eudora 4.3 offers better filtering and message rules, for example, a new ability to print upon receipt. You also get an improved importing utility that, in just three clicks, grabs mail, account settings, and address books from Netscape Communicator and Microsoft Outlook.

Unfortunately, my beta crashed in the middle of an Outlook mailbox import, though it did preserve all the data transferred up to that point. This should be fixed in the shipping version (out at the end of first quarter), according to the company.

Other new features include colour-coded message labels that can be automatically attached, and automatic support for UUencoding and decoding.

That's along with all the features of Eudora Pro 4.2, such as its ability to multitask between different accounts.

Frankly, I'd rather drop the cash and pick up the ad-free, full-feature version of Eudora. For those who don't want to pay the $US50, Eudora's `sponsored mode' (with ad), might be worthwhile. And it should be very attractive to the many Eudora Lite users who can now upgrade to the full version in exchange for just a bit of screen real estate.

Eudora Email 4.3

Pro: ¥ One of the most mature and stable e-mail platforms available; fast; full-featured.

Con: ¥ Beta crashed during import from Outlook.

Value: Excellent at its $US50 list price and outstanding as a freebie if you don't mind the advertising.

Price: $US50 for paid mode; free for sponsored modehttp;//www.eudora.com


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