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Windows based Email Client

I thought I would ask what is a good email client for windows with IMAP and POP3? Not including outlook or outlook express. Thanks.

Tom Vu
Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Mozilla Thunderbird

Tim Evans
Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Eudora

Almost Anonymous
Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Pegasus Mail

Akilesh Ayyar
Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Tim: I've tried using Thunderbird 0.6 as a News client. I've had it die several times and corrupt the local news storage files. This didn't exactly give me "warm fuzzies" about depending on it for email. (Of course, it's possible that Thunderbird's email code is more stable than its news code, but I was not brave enough to try it.)

I sometime use Mozilla 1.6 for email. It's OK. It doesn't exactly "knock my socks off", but it works.

Keith Moore
Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Mozilla Thunderbird 0.8.  Never had a crash.  It's the only mail client I've found that handles IMAP with reasonable intelligence, which pretty much snares the title in my book.

Adam P
Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Another vote for Mozilla Thunderbird.

michael sica (michaelsica.com)
Wednesday, June 02, 2004

I'll take the AOLer route. +1 for Thunderbird. Way the best IMAP client I've seen.

Brad Wilson (dotnetguy.techieswithcats.com)
Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Did you give up on the Bat, Brad?

Mike
Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Why not Outlook? What's the last version you used?

If nothing else, explaining what you don't like about the MS clients will help guide the replies you get for alternatives.

Philo

Philo
Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Check this out:

http://www.zuggsoft.com/emobius/aboutem.htm

Slartibartfast
Wednesday, June 02, 2004

You can't go wrong with Mulberry:
http://www.cyrusoft.com/mulberry/

Bubba
Wednesday, June 02, 2004

You might also consider the off-beat Oddpost ( http://www.oddpost.com/ )

Akilesh Ayyar
Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Yep, Thunderbird got me off The Bat! forever.

Brad Wilson (dotnetguy.techieswithcats.com)
Thursday, June 03, 2004

Thunderbird again.

Why I like it over Outlook:
*FREE (don't have to bend over for MS or steal it)
*it handles multiple email accounts better than Outlook 2000 did, in my opinion
*its not the most common target for annoying viruses
*its UI is at least as nice, so there's nothing lost there
*spam handling is better than Outlook 2000
*did I mention its FREE?

Outlook would still have advantages over T-bird if you have a real need for calendar integrated with your email (Mozilla are working on a full-scale calendar app though).  Keep in mind that I also have not tried Outlook 2003, which I hear has some nice upgrades, although its still got the price tag and will continue to be a regular target for script kiddies.

Clay Whipkey
Thursday, June 03, 2004

What I don't like about Outlook is that there seems to be no way to reply to a "rich" email in plain text. You have to manually go and choose format>plain text.

Matthew Lock
Thursday, June 03, 2004


Opera's M2. The drudgery of managing email has completely vanished for me. It handles POP3 and IMAP as well as RSS and Usenet. Super-fast indexed search over gigabytes of email, persistent searches (like Outlook's Search Folders). Automatic creation of "folders" (actually views on the database) based on active threads, active contacts, an attachments view, a mailing lists view, all this happens by itself on the fly. I basically do nothing to manage my email except for deleting stuff I don't want to keep; M2 handles organizing. Excellent tutorial here: http://www.markschenk.com/opera/7/m2tutorial.html

I believe I can fry
Thursday, June 03, 2004

Philo,

Although I still use Outlook for my e-mail, the versions I've used suffer from major problems that frequently make me want to scream in frustration. Here are some specific issues that are problematic (my environment is multiple machines accessing a hosted IMAP store, so no Exchange server):

1. Mail rules don't work reliably. I have a rule that basically reads "When message arrives in Inbox, if subject contains '**JUNK**', move it to the 'Junk' folder". Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. Works fine if I run it manually, but the rule simply does not fire most of the time when new mail enters my inbox, and I frequently have to wade through dozens of messages that should've been filtered and aren't. I've searched the MS KB and Usenet and found that other users have similar problems, but am not aware of any fix for this.

2. Lack of effective multi-threading (I assume) means Outlook is often non-responsive for extended periods. For example, if I click on a folder and it has to go download a bunch of headers or something like that, Outlook makes me sit on my hands for a minute or more; I can't look at other folders, check my calendar or contacts, etc. in the meantime.

3. Problems renaming and deleting IMAP folders. About 95% of the time, when I try to rename or delete an IMAP folder, I get an error like "server returned an unrecognizable response". Might be a problem on the server side, I suppose, but the net result is that most of the time I just can't do this.

4. Profound problems with entering addresses on the address line. (Some of these problems may be specific to earlier versions of Outlook, as I only finished upgrading my last machine just the other day and I'm not positive offhand which versions were affected.) I've had certain addresses that I was absolutely unable to send mail to, except by replying to a prior message, because when I began typing the address in the address line, Outlook's auto-complete simply *deleted* the characters I typed. I tried opening the address book and adding it from there, and again Outlook *deleted* the entry. In general, the address-prediction algorithm is problematic; it will often give me a tool tip suggesting an address, which I accept, and then when I hit Send it will tell me that the address I entered is unknown (so why did it offer auto-complete?!?). Additionally, if you have both an e-mail address and a fax number for a contact and type that contact's name in the address bar, it flags the contact and forces you to choose whether to send the message to the contact's e-mail account or fax line. I've probably sent 10,000 e-mail messages in Outlook and about 2 faxes, and it's incredibly annoying that Oulook doesn't make the default assumption that when I enter someone's name I want to send them an e-mail, not a fax.

Anyway, that's a few things off the top of my head. I could probably come up with a few dozen more if I actually bothered to keep a log of these issues for a couple of weeks. All I can say is that it's less offensive than the old Lotus Notes client I was once saddled with...

John C.
Thursday, June 03, 2004

I should clarify that the most recent version I've used (and the one I now use exclusively) is Outlook 2003.

John C.
Thursday, June 03, 2004

Eudora, because it stores all attachments as ordinary files, readily shows message headers, makes writing plain text mails easy, and generally doesn't patronize me like Outlook does.

Chris Nahr
Thursday, June 03, 2004

Courier.  http://www.rosecitysoftware.com/

Its a mail client that doesn't pretend to be anything else, its filtering and rule system is very simple and powerful and it lets me keep everything in plain text and view in html when I need to, which is rarely.

Simon Lucy
Thursday, June 03, 2004

The best thing I did to solve these perpetual email problems, among many other PC administration issues, was to hire a secretary. Its her problem now and I do not have any.

.
Thursday, June 03, 2004

Yeap, John C, very familiar annoyances.  The biggest problem I have with outlook is it freezing for ages.  Someone should make outlook multi-threaded.

Please see to it, Philo.

i like i
Thursday, June 03, 2004

Oulook. It isn't perfect by far, but it is ahead of the pack.

Just me (Sir to you)
Thursday, June 03, 2004

Pocomail, http://www.pocomail.com/

Stable, highly configurable but still easy to use, secure, easy filter generation.

hightequity
Thursday, June 03, 2004

Oh my god. Another mail client thread. Next Philo's gonna have a great day and all hell is going to break loose.

RP
Thursday, June 03, 2004

I had a great day Tuesday, but spared everyone the pain of hearing about it. :-)

John, thanks for the feedback - I'll forward it on to the Outlook team; maybe it'll get some attention, but of course that doesn't help you now.

My only other addition is to stay away from Eudora - I used Eudora for eight years until I found one little annoying bug: if you download mail and your disk fills up, it will give you a "disk full" error at the end of the mail download. Then it'll toss all the headers it's downloaded. Of course, it's deleted the mail from the server as it was downloading.

IMHO, of all the sins a mail app could commit, losing mail is the one cardinal sin.

When this bug made it into a new full release (and I got bitten by it again), I left Eudora and vowed never to return - it's not a bug I can afford to test the hard way.

Anyway, just a heads' up

Philo

Philo
Thursday, June 03, 2004

In this day and age I'd say that mishandling of a disk full error falls under the "negligible" category.

Yeah, there are some multi-gig software packages or media files that can fill up even modern disks... but filling up a disk so precisely that the system still works but not even a couple of e-mails fit on it? And then you didn't even notice how full the disk was?

You've got to be kidding me. Were you running Windows from a floppy drive? Or am I misunderstanding something here?

Chris Nahr
Thursday, June 03, 2004

Or did you have your disk space restricted by user quotas? That's about the only realistic situation I can think of, and I retract the "negligible error" comment in that case.

Chris Nahr
Thursday, June 03, 2004

Perhaps Philo you could ask the OUtlook team why MS always offers to index the whole of every hard drive I have but refuses to index my mail store in the background, when that is where I do all my searching.

I have a folder with about 17,000 emails in. Often I will click on activities for a contact so I can see all the messages from and to that contact (the fact I can do it easily is one of the reasons I like Outlook). Every time I have to go to the coffee shop and get a coiffee because it freezes Outlook for two or three minutes or more.

I am now in the process of arranging for lawyers to sue MS for compensation for irregular heartbeat caused by the coffee consumption :)

Oh , and autoarchive is hopelessly broken. Whenever you copy over a .pst file it resets the date so I'm still waiting for messages over a year old to autoarchive because although autoarchive is set for every six months, I transfer the .pst file to the laptop every holiday, and I have not yet gone six months without one.

Stephen Jones
Thursday, June 03, 2004

"In this day and age I'd say that mishandling of a disk full error falls under the "negligible" category."

Not everyone runs their entire system from the C: drive. I generally try to run my systems from multiple partitions. Sometimes those partitions run out of disk space (mostly because I'm a packrat and a crappy housekeeper)

Like I said - it's only happened twice. But IMHO it should never happen at all - running out of disk space is a very realistic error condition, and an email client should be able to handle it gracefully (I suspect most clients will fail on a single email, error out, and not delete it from teh server - apparently Eudora downloads everything to a memory cache *then* starts checking for disk space)

Philo

Philo
Thursday, June 03, 2004

Sort of sad that this problem still plagues Eudora. I encountered it way back in 1995, although not because of a full disk; I was downloading mail over a flaky dial-up connection that dropped out on me, and had the horror of discovering that the mail had already been deleted from the server yet had never been saved locally. It just blew my mind that the program would erase the original before committing the copy anywhere else -- disaster waiting to happen.

I always liked Eudora's "personalities" feature, though. Made handling multiple e-mail accounts much easier than any client I've used since (though I can't claim comprehensive experience).

John C.
Friday, June 04, 2004

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