Before there was Microsoft Outlook or BlackBerry handhelds, there was Qualcomm's Eudora, and 7 million faithful e-mailers still prefer its look and feel. But is it friendly enough to let you e-mail on your cell phone? Yes, if you have the right phone.
Verizon Wireless has introduced Eudora2go, a service based on the Eudora interface that instantly pushes your e-mail to qualified Get It Now enabled phones. At $6 a month, it's cheaper, though less elegant, than buying BlackBerry handsets and a Microsoft Exchange Server, points out Ken Dulaney, vice president of mobile computing for technology research and consulting firm Gartner Inc.
"Large enterprises like to keep the mail server inside, behind a firewall where they have complete control," says Dulaney. "Eudora2go is outsourced and meant primarily for small businesses."
Eudora2go will forward messages from Eudora, Outlook and Lotus Notes/Domino as well as IMAP or POP3 post offices like Google Gmail and Yahoo! Mail. Not every cell phone is equipped to receive them, but a growing number of high-end models from Audiovox, LG Electronics, Motorola and Samsung do qualify.
These aren't smartphones with qwerty keyboards, but their displays are larger than average, and there's plenty of thumb room on their keypads. And the combination of Eudora2go's easy-to-follow interface and an incredibly cool LG VX8000 camera-phone had me sending mail with photo and video attachments in minutes.
Just being able to check and forward mail or peck out a short response could save money by reducing minutes spent on voice calls, notes Dulaney. Eudora2go lets you preview message headings before downloading the full text and incurring usage charges. It includes increasingly necessary anti-virus and anti-spam protection, and SSL and TLS message encryption. You can have up to seven mailboxes and 100MB of storage per account, the preferences for which are managed on the Verizon website. It's a trend.
"In five years," says Dulaney, "there won't be a business phone that doesn't get wireless e-mail."