Qualcomm announced that it’s discontinuing development of Eudora, and will release the code as open source software in the first half of 2007.

While I like Eudora (it’s my favorite Windows e-mail client, and I’ve been a paid-up customer for many years), the synergies between Eudora and the rest of Qualcomm’s product line is zero. So, while the company has done a yeoman’s job keeping the software up to date, it was only a matter of time before someone said, “Enough, already.”

Will the open source community embrace Eudora? Frankly, I have my doubts. There are plenty of open source e-mail clients, with the best known being Mozilla’s Thunderbird, which is already as good as Eudora in most ways, and better in some ways. Thunderbird has clean source code, a dedicated community and no corporate baggage.

Another popular project is Evolution, which I’ve not used. It’s the e-mail software bundled with Ubuntu Linux.

I think this move is the death knell of Eudora. It’s a shame. But most platforms already come with decent POP3/IMAP4 e-mail clients (like Apple Mail or Outlook Express), there are other open source products around, and Eudora’s a bit dated, feature-wise.

Qualcomm gets praise for releasing the source code, instead of just letting the software die. But I don’t think that it’s going to live for long.

Z Trek Copyright (c) Alan Zeichick