Penelope the Thunderbird
More on the Eudora switcheroo
Actually, it was never quite clear why Qualcomm bought Eudora, the old market-leading email program, but it would have been quite understandable if it had been because it foresaw the growth in mobile email, and wanted to bundle something with BREW phones.
But it seems that it wasn't. Qualcomm has now disposed of Eudora, it announced yesterday, and it will turn it into Penelope, which is a Thunderbird based product. It's going to be Open Source, from Mozilla, and effectively, this marks the unloading of the Albatross for the Thunderbird.
Why did it buy it? "It was just one of those things," thinks Ferris Research consultant Richi Jennings. "I doubt they ever really knew why they bought it, and nobody else knows."
Penelope will add several features to Thunderbird, says Jennings: "including these:"
- Data and settings import, to help with migration
- User interface options, to make the client more familiar for Eudora users (e.g., keyboard accelerators)
"This is good news for Eudora users. Eudora hasn't had a bright future for some considerable time - it's hardly been a shining star on Qualcomm's balance sheet. This will move Eudora users onto a more stable code platform - one that's being actively developed."
This is also [he reckons] good news for Thunderbird users. "It adds new ideas to the development team - a team that at times can feel like the ugly sister compared to the Firefox browser."
Did Qualcomm have any hopes of taking Eudora mobile? "Nope, can't say I've ever heard anybody say anything of the sort," admitted Jennings.
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And what of the Ugly Sister? Writes Reg reader Ihar Filipau: "If the deal doesn't include paid developer time, I think TB will be unmoved by the donation.
As long time Netscape Messenger/Mozilla Messenger/Thunderbird user I can witness, the problem of TB isn't lack of features - but rather lack of active developers working on it.
TB is only now reaching level of features of Netscape 4.x - and stability is very remote goal. Throwing Eudora into the mix definitely would not help."
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