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Next Generation Mail Clients Reviewed 743

kreide writes "E-mail is the 'killer app' of the Internet; an enormous number of messages are exchanged every day, and while web-based mail has become very popular in recent years, many people still prefer the added speed and flexibility of a mail client application. In this review I compare the next generation of the most popular e-mail clients, including Evolution, KMail, Opera and Mozilla, and their usability in dealing with large number of messages."
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Next Generation Mail Clients Reviewed

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  • hmmm (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 04, 2004 @12:06PM (#8463883)
    isn't this kind of like reviewing the state of pop music without touching on britney spears, justin timberlake, beyonce, and michelle branch?
  • Next killer app? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by teklob ( 650327 ) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @12:07PM (#8463898)
    I hardly think email is the next 'killer app.' I get about 100 spams a day, and about 1 legitimate message every few weeks. Nowadays, virtually all of my communication is done over IM.
  • by gazbo ( 517111 ) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @12:08PM (#8463913)
    Outlook has probably more features and at least as good a UI as any of the competition. With MS's recent drive for security, it's probably significantly more secure and robust too.

    This just smacks of zealotry.

  • by tka ( 548076 ) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @12:11PM (#8463952)
    What? According to the overview evolution 1.5.2 doesn't support mail importing. That's a bit odd since my 1.4.5 does support it.
  • Where's Mail.app (Score:5, Interesting)

    by CmdrChillupa ( 166635 ) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @12:11PM (#8463958)
    Panther's Mail.app is by far the most usable, configurable mail application I've ever used. It's got all the usability and more of Outlook 2k3 without the high probability of having your computer trashed by virii.
  • From Wired magazine: (Score:4, Interesting)

    by andy666 ( 666062 ) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @12:15PM (#8464028)
    "For every email sent, 2 pornographic images are viewed/downloaded"
  • Gnus/Emacs (Score:5, Interesting)

    by yoghurt ( 2090 ) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @12:17PM (#8464054)
    Gnus in emacs is perhaps the most configurable email client ever. For dealing with massive amounts of email it is especially suitable. It treats email like it was news. It basically arranges your email into newsgroups and does things like sorting messages based on headers/content into the right buckets and expire old mails. I do not know how I could receive, e.g., the linux-kernel mailing list without gnus.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 04, 2004 @12:18PM (#8464065)
    The ability to filter incoming mail based on the existence (or lack of) of the sender's e-mail address in my Contact database. This applies to both Outlook and Evo.

    All belly aching aside, I'm planning on employing a white list of valid e-mailers some time this year. For me at least, the promise of 'anybody' communicating via e-mail is dead.

  • Re:outlook 2k3 (Score:5, Interesting)

    by cbreaker ( 561297 ) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @12:19PM (#8464095) Journal
    No, you're right about that. Outlook 2003 is a very nice, well organized, fast e-mail client. Great features and less cluttered then previous versions.

    I hope that the other mail clients can achieve a similar level of functionality and interface attributes.

    Gone are the days where a simple pop client will get the job done for me. I need a more robust package. Outlook certainly fills this position, but it's not cheap and it only runs on Windows.

    I'd buy Outlook 2003 if it was available for Linux.
  • Inclusion Criteria (Score:4, Interesting)

    by richg74 ( 650636 ) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @12:23PM (#8464159) Homepage
    Note that Outlook has been included for completeness, both because of its popularity and for use as a reference. I did not include Eudora, even though the latest version does include unique features ... as it is both closed source and not available for any UNIX platforms.

    And Outlook is open source and available for UNIX platforms? Yes, I know that Outlook / OE are popular, but it is kind of a shame that Eudora was omitted, given that the review was to cover the Windows environment. Unlike Outlook, it is possible to configure Eudora to avoid some of the security mis-features of Windows. (For example, you can disable Microsoft's HTML rendering engine.) The reviewer missed an opportunity to provide a little education. (BTW, I am sure that there are other good mail clients; I mention Eudora because I'm familiar with it.)

  • by whyde ( 123448 ) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @12:27PM (#8464217)
    JWZ's "Law of Software Development" states:
    Every program attempts to expand until it can read mail. Those programs which cannot so expand are replaced by ones which can.

    I'd like to revise this law and phrase it as:
    Every program attempts to expand until it can play multimedia files.

    So, the next real "killer" internet application is clearly a mail client which can play MP3 files.
  • Re:Next killer app? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by skinny.net ( 20754 ) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @12:28PM (#8464233)
    Email is not the next killer app; it is the killer app. I just emailed by boss and a client about a bad account number. Those people may not be in the office now. I've never met the client and I'm not about to ask for his Yahoo! ID.

    I sent new documentation to a dozen of my coworkers yesterday; same story there.

    I'm glad IM works exclusively for you. While IM use is growing rapidly, email use is as well.

    I get no spam at work after 8 years. I get plenty at home, of course. If my company had it's own internal IM that didn't require public servers out of our control, it may be feasible, but our information will NOT be stored on MSN or Yahoo servers, PERIOD. There is simply no substitute for email. Yet. It will be the client and not the core concept that gets updated.
  • Outlook and IMAP (Score:3, Interesting)

    by gregvr ( 518483 ) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @12:31PM (#8464281)
    I'm very surprised that the review of Outlook's IMAP capabilities as "reasonable".

    The fact that "deleting" does not shield the user from the IMAP concept of marking for deletion. I am unable to move many of my users to an IMAP-based mail implementation because Outlook doesn't correctly use the metaphor!

    (Thunderbird, on the other hand, sets up a virtual "trash" folder, which is really just posts that have been marked for deletion-- that's the way it should work!)

  • by EasyTarget ( 43516 ) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @12:34PM (#8464330) Journal
    Humm.. It's amazing how many company firewalls completely block all POP and IMAP access these days (reasonably so, it's a huge virus/IP security risk). I never did a contract at any place they allowed this traffic to pass outside their intranet.

    Mind you, These days some companies block webmail too, at least major sites like hotmail/yahoo/etc.. My system would probably slip under the radar unless they use heuristics.

    Actually I used to do my roaming by constantly updating mail redirects on my personal and company mail servers, workable, but error prone and only effective once the redirect was updated. Having access to -all- my email is a definate advantage.
  • by polyp2000 ( 444682 ) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @12:35PM (#8464338) Homepage Journal
    I've posted this before, but for me, particularly as i am applying for jobs sending CV's off every five minutes, etc, this shows that it is often the simple things in life that really make a difference. I recently upgraded to KDE 3.2 , and recieved a pop-up dialog that actually made me smile :))

    Kmail Dialog [blackapology.com]

    (its KDE3.2 with Aqua Icons, Baghira and clever configuration btw)

    nick ....
  • The Bat! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by whizzzo ( 308797 ) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @12:35PM (#8464339)
    I've tried most of the graphical Windows clients and nothing beats The Bat for me. The filters are the real killer, especially filtering on groups into set folders with different notifications for each.

    Thunderbird is almost there and I'm guessing sometime in the next year it'll be good enough for me to move to it.
  • by rangi500 ( 661022 ) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @12:36PM (#8464358) Homepage
    There's a small thing I find really annoying with Outlook, OE and Mozilla mail (which I have to use at work). When you set up a mail rule to mark certain messages as "read", the little icon in the task bar still pops up to say that you have "unread" messages when new messages arrive. So you go to your inbox, and of course all the messages are "read" (like you want). In OE, to get the little "unread messages" icon to dissappear, you have to click on a read message, mark it as "unread", click on it again and mark it "read"!

    So the program does something like this:

    - check mail and find new messages
    - pop up the "unread messages" icon
    - check rules and mark messages unread
    (thus leaving you with a misleading "unread messages" icon)

    What they should do is this:

    - check mail and find new messages
    - check rules and mark messages unread
    - pop up the "unread messages" icon if there are still unread messages
  • by Chuck Bucket ( 142633 ) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @12:37PM (#8464373) Homepage Journal
    as for 'next generation' mail clients, I continue to think web based clients should be considered. why continue to spread the burden of email from server -> client, when a web based client only views mail on the server, and doesn't have to transmit/store it.

    with clients such as Squirrelmail and Horde/IMP, it seems that this would be the path more in line with the current thinking. I use Squirrelmail, and it does (almost) everything I want. What it doesn't do can be added via modules, or via coding of your own modules (which I'm working on now).

  • by ari_j ( 90255 ) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @12:48PM (#8464507)
    There is a single feature of Outlook 2003 that I fell in love with. I use Pine and SquirrelMail (in that order, depending if ssh is available to me) for my own e-mail, but at work we are on a Windows domain and have an Exchange server.

    I am responsible for 3 sites throughout the metropolitan area, and have some users who have to do work from home. Before me, they would connect through the VPN and either use Windows Offline Files or Terminal Services to access their work. Their Outlook 2000 client (2002/XP is no better) would read every message from the server every time it even thought you might want to see that message. The whole thing was horribly slow.

    I quickly replaced this situation with Unison [upenn.edu] to synchronize their My Documents folders, including a .pst so they'd have quicker access. The problem is that synchronizing a 100MB .pst with perhaps 3 new messages is both painstakingly slow and unreliable. I fought with this for months.

    When we opened up our third site in the city, we got new computers that came with Office 2003. I asked myself, "Self, why did Microsoft bring us a new version of Office just a year after the last version was new, with no new features other than the bubblegum interface?" In setting up their e-mail access, however, I stumbled across Outlook 2003's ability to synchronize per-message, and the question then was "Self, why did Microsoft screw me for so many months with previous versions of Outlook, when this is so easy?"

    I don't have a lot of pro-Microsoft testimonials to give, and Outlook 2003 has a few really obnoxious features, too, but for its ability to synchronize with an Exchange server, I say "Thank you, Microsoft."
  • 1) Opera DOES have a non-audio mail notification. I have sound turned off, and when mail comes in, I get a little box in the bottom left hand corner of the screen that says how many messages have arrived. I'm still using Opera 7.23.

    2) Outlook XPs version of 'threading' is kind of crappy, in my opinion.

    3) Why do all the open source email clients look exactly like Outlook? I've never particularily liked that view of email. Can't anyone think of anything better?

    4) I use mutt, Mail.app (OSX) and Opera as my main mail clients. Mutt is still the most feature-rich mail client that I've ever used, inability to display HTML and images inline notwithstanding (and most of the time, I like it better that way.) Mail.app under OSX is quite nice too, though I don't like the way that it won't check IMAP servers automatically when it checks your main Inbox. I always have to syncronize my folders. Also, it should display the number of new messages that you have in total in all of your folders (excluding the spam folder) if you want it to.

    5) I haven't used Outlook 2003 yet, but Outlook XP is excessively annoying. It doesn't do anything the standard way, as near as I can tell. Threading, quoting, replying - it's all terrible. I hate the fact that text email isn't default.
  • Re:Where's Mail.app (Score:2, Interesting)

    by The Unabageler ( 669502 ) <josh AT 3io DOT com> on Thursday March 04, 2004 @12:50PM (#8464529) Homepage
    totally...mail.app is the absolute 100% best IMAP client I've ever used. I was using pine since 1995 until I got my powerbook.
  • by IWantMoreSpamPlease ( 571972 ) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @12:59PM (#8464672) Homepage Journal
    Our firm is discussing the possibility of setting up a "caller ID" type of system.

    In other words, for each person who has an e.mail account with us, they would get a message saying "such and such wants to send you e.mail, about this topic. Do you accept?"

    If so, the e.mail goes through and the person can be authenticated in the future. If not, they can be blocked, either once, or permanently.

    It could serve as an in-between system until something better is thought out, or it might function on a permanent basis. Still doing a small test run of it.
  • What I want is ... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Etyenne ( 4915 ) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @01:01PM (#8464704)
    ... the ability to use vi as my mail editor. This is why I stuck with Mutt. I would love to use a GUI to naviguate my mail, but I spend much more time composing mail so that is what I decided to optimize. I have been told that you can coax Kmail into using the Kvim Kpart for mail composing (this K- naming convention is getting ridiculous ...), but never got around to try it. Well, I guess I could use both a GUI for navigating my mail and Mutt for composition, but that would get cumbersome ...

    I also wish somebody would embbed vim in Web browser. Editing in those damn HTML textarea is a fscking pain !
  • Re:MH? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Ctrl-Z ( 28806 ) <tim@ t i m c o l e m a n.com> on Thursday March 04, 2004 @01:06PM (#8464773) Homepage Journal
    We posted almost exactly the same comment [slashdot.org].

    I use mh as well as sylpheed-claws. Any graphical client I use at home has to support mh-style folders, because I often read mail remotely via ssh.

    I used to use mutt, but I found that between it and the graphical application I was using, they kept stepping on each others toes. With mh, there are no lock files and no toes to step on.
  • by rikkards ( 98006 ) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @01:13PM (#8464890) Journal
    Not being facesious (sp?) but you should have asked:
    "Self, what is Offline storage files (.ost) and why didn't I use them wit Outlook 2K2?"

    Seriously though, we have users with laptops who do a lot of travelling which may involve connecting over phone (with Encryption) or satellite and not necessarily from the nicest locations with conditioned phone lines (think Middle East (I mean really middle!) Connecting up to their mailbox can be dog slow. Using OST though dramatically improves the speed since all of their read email is stored on the local machine.

    It is better than using a PST as at least on the Exchange server their data is being backed up. If they have all their mail going to a PST on their local drive, chances are it isn't getting backed up.

    Just some observations.
  • EMail Client Review (Score:2, Interesting)

    by p0rnking ( 255997 ) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @01:20PM (#8464983) Homepage
    I'm surprised that Outlook Express isn't one of the clients that is reviewed.
    Yes, Outlook Express is full of problems, and isn't that great at protecting the end user from viruses, BUT, Outlook is used probably more than any of email client.
    By reviewing OE, you can show users (of Windows) the faults of OE, that there are better email clients, and they do exist on Linux, which may give the user 1 more reason to end up ditching Windows.
    Personally this is my problem from switching completely over to Linux, I don't feel like spending all of my time finding and testing out programs that are comparable to what I use on Windows.
  • Re:Incomplete review (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Rand Race ( 110288 ) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @01:21PM (#8464989) Homepage
    I did not include Eudora, even though the latest version does include unique features such as a Content Concentrator, Contextual Filing, MoodWatch and Email Usage Stats, as it is both closed source and not available for any UNIX platforms.

    That said, Eudora seems to run just fine on my Mach kernal, BSD-based system.

    It is misleading though: In this review I compare the next generation of the most popular e-mail clients, including Evolution, KMail, Opera and Mozilla...

    As I understand it, the most popular email clients are Outlook, Lotus, and Eudora. He means "the most popular e-mail clients for Linux... oh, and an old version of Outlook for comparison".
  • by bach37 ( 602070 ) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @01:22PM (#8464996)

    He left out a BIG feature to compare: blocking attachments. I'm a Thunderbird user, and this is one thing that T'bird lacks unfortunately.

    Scott in NC
  • Email storage format (Score:3, Interesting)

    by emil_nikolov ( 187038 ) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @01:25PM (#8465046)
    I know this is a bit off topic, but how do /. user recommend to keep old emails? The answer to this question is a big part fo choosing the mail client (at least for me).

    I have a ton of old email I like to keep and so far resides on IMAP server. The trouble is that is approaching my 100MB limit and that's all text emails - no big attachments. Most is standard encoding, but a few use alterantive encodings, though no 2bit characters.
  • by rikkards ( 98006 ) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @01:29PM (#8465077) Journal
    I am running Outlook 2002 at home and there are two things I don't like about it:
    1. PST support: The interface for setting up the location of your PST file was more intuitive and straightforward in Outlook 2000. They "softened" the interface up too much making more unecessary steps in saying where you want your PST file to be located if it is stored in a nondefault location.

    2. Rules not flexible enough: The biggest annoyance with setting up Rules was that I would set specific rules from specific domains to go to specific folders (i.e delete the files (spam is an example)) but the New Message flag which I like to have for normal messages would not disappear. Without getting into VBA this wasn't possible. I think they need to become more flexible in what you can do with rules.
    Now SpamAssasin is the shiznit for identifying Spam but all it would do is mark the email as Spam at that point I would have to use a rule to get rid of it. (Is this better in Outlook 2k3?)
  • Mozilla Mail (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ncr53c8xx ( 262643 ) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @01:35PM (#8465159) Homepage

    Mozilla mail seems to be a good default choice for modern email clients. The integrated spam filter catches most of the spam. Another great thing compared to other Free applications is the way it can handle non standard ports and logins for mail accounts. I have found that many programs don't support authentication for outgoing email, for instance. Couple of issues that I have found pretty annoying though.

    1. It doesn't support sorting messages into threads properly--instead of using message Ids, it uses subject headings!!
    2. No real way to contribute due to the monolithic nature of the program. Even with the current efforts to create a standalone client, you will get nowhere unless you install the multi-GB build system with all the C++ code.
  • by mrm677 ( 456727 ) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @01:35PM (#8465164)
    I currently have over 2400 messages in my Inbox and about 10,000 filed away from the last 3 years. Since everything is IMAP-based, I use several e-mail clients ranging from Pine for ssh sessions, Outlook for Windows, and Evolution when at a powerful Linux machine. Most of my messages are legit...my ISP automatically filters viruses. In fact I received my first virus yesterday (the one that sends an encrypted .zip file which seems to defeat the ISP virus scanner). They also have SpamAssassin which automatically puts detected SPAM in my "caughtspam" IMAP folder.

    Evolution effectively deals with my massive Inbox. I love the quick-filter feature right above the message list.

    I can't sympathize with those who have unmanageable e-mail problems due to spam and viruses. Get a different ISP.

    Note that my "ISP" is actually the Computer Science department. They handle over 10,000 accounts (lots of guest accounts), > 2 terrabytes of data, and manage about 500 machines (if not more due to clusters). This is all with less than 6 full-time staff and some part-time students.
  • Wish? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by sirReal.83. ( 671912 ) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @01:49PM (#8465363) Homepage
    Mutt seems to be the geek favorite of mail clients. I like the sound of its flexibility, except for the fact that it doesn't support the mouse. (Mutt users cry foul at this point) but aren't Vim and Emacs doing fine at this point with mouse support? If you run Emacs from console, you get normal Emacs. If you run it from an xterm, you get XEmacs. Can we not do the same thing with Mutt?

    If it's already been done, then after you flame me, tell me where to look for it ;)
  • by dekashizl ( 663505 ) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @01:53PM (#8465396) Journal
    HTML email is the stupidest thing ever created, but how outlook does it by having all the graphics IN the fricking email is a magnitude worse.
    There may be alternative implementations to attaching all media files to each mail individually, but they would all require more configuration and would over-complicate the task. And to say that HTML email is "the stupidest thing ever created" just demonstrates a myopic view of computing sadly shared by many others in this community.
  • by hkmwbz ( 531650 ) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @01:56PM (#8465436) Journal
    It looks to me like Opera's M2 already does a lot of this. M2 is definitely not current generation, since it completely breaks with traditional folders. It's one of the first to do mfull mail indexing and automatic sorting.
  • by Desult ( 592617 ) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @02:01PM (#8465507) Homepage
    After having used Outlook for quite a while, I've gone through the same thing with Thunderbird. In fact, I still can't seem to switch between HTML and plaintext email composition without changing my overall composition preferences, which is buried at least four or five clicks away from the composition window.

    I'm not sure if it's a config design issue as much as it is a familiarity issue. I dumped Outlook because of the unease I had with its security, and Outlook 2002's spotty compatibility with Windows XP. Thunderbird is better in some ways, but it definitely has its downsides, not the least of which is the painful configuration of multiple accounts and general preferences.
  • Re:Next killer app? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by afidel ( 530433 ) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @02:10PM (#8465628)
    God if you think there is no use for active email then you are VERY naive. There are companies with entire vertical apps built around Outlook/Exchange or Lotus Notes/Domino. One good example was an insurance company, they had the forms available to the field agents who would fill them out at the scene of an accident or while doing the apraisal. Once they got back to the office they sync their email client and the forms get sent to the server. There some scripts checked things for requirements and spit them back to the agent if they were lacking. Then business logic could decide if they went to accounting for a check to be written or sent to other departments for review, by say fraud investigators, or actuaries, or a VP if the dollar amount was very large, etc. Do I think MS did a terrible job in implementing Outlook, hell yes I do. Do I think their general goal was bad, not at all.
  • webmail .... or pine (Score:3, Interesting)

    by gosand ( 234100 ) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @02:20PM (#8465731)
    If you want a single 'client' at all locations, you probably want to use webmail.

    I have tried a few mail programs, and I am forced to use Outlook at work. It is actually handy there, simply because of the scheduling aspect.

    But at home, it is pine all the way. I am about speed and function. I can ssh into the box from anywhere and run the mail client locally. I don't have to wait to download any messages. The only caveat is attachments. But if I need to view them, I can save them off and download them. I would rather choose when to download something than wait for everything to download.

    So my emails exist in two places - on my ISPs mail server, and on my home machine. If for some reason I can't access pine, I have webmail via my ISP. I not only have one interface, I have the same interface, and I know that there aren't various copies of my emails floating around. If I have net access, I can get PuTTY very quickly and be into my server in minutes. From anywhere. It is sweeeet.

    People have laughed at me for still using Pine, but email is email. HTML in email is evil. Viruses don't harm me, I don't get flashing banners and crap. I haven't seen anything in another email client to cause me to even think about switching.

  • by Mr. Protocol ( 73424 ) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @02:40PM (#8466025)
    I deal with inboxes with 5,000-7,000 messages - not immense by today's standards (still boggled by the guy whose wife has 66,000 pending inbox messages) but large enough.

    George Santayana keeps invading my consciousness. Most of today's mail readers are blindly taking the road that I abandoned 25 years ago. I don't want to read my mail using a database system. I want my mail to be a full-fledged member of UNIX society, not locked up inside a single application.

    At RAND, we had a homebrew mail system that worked about like today's readers: mail was kept in a file, with a sidebar index file for quickly locating individual messages. It fell out of sync regularly, but on those dog-slow machines, rebuilding the index file was a coffee-break operation.

    Norm Shapiro should be credited with the insight that UNIX already provided the cleanest solution to mail storage: messages are files, folders are directories. He and Bruce Borden hammered things out over about six months of conversations, then Bruce wrote the first version of the MH system over a weekend.

    MH is ancient. There is no doubt about this. The original MH is as dead as T. Rex; people use NMH now. It's almost all text-only. It does have a MIME wart on the side, but just barely. If you want to use mice, scroll wheels, and other "modern" goodies you need to use a front end like EXMH.

    BUT: 99.95% of all the legit email I get is text-only. "showproc" can deal with MIME mail that just asks for a different font, and EXMH does understand basic HTML. You can create MIME attachments if you need to.

    And it's the skip-loader of email systems. It doesn't care if there are 8,000 messages in a folder. It just works. And it's fast.

    On the Mac I use Mail.app. It does work (mostly, except when Apple is having one of its periodic days where WebDAV doesn't work, and they're in denial [nothing wrong here, move along please]). It has nice filtering features. It has threading.

    It also feels like a toy. I get the feeling that if I pointed it at an 8,000-message inbox, it'd fold like a cheap suit. Certainly it'd be tough to deal with that many messages through that interface.

    For the big time mail flows, I'm sticking with MH. Thanks again, Norm and Bruce.
  • Re:Next killer app? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by brianjcain ( 622084 ) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @02:46PM (#8466096) Journal
    I think S/MIME is an excellent, well-defined encryption and signature "protocol". Outlook, Outlook Express, and Mozilla(s) seem to have no trouble interoperating. Generating self-signed certificates could be made easier, and distributing trust automatically within and among domains is a little difficult, especially with the need for escrow. But distributing trust one peer at a time is pretty easy, not much more difficult than web-of-trust models like pgp or gpg.
    seriously. this brings up the biggest hole in email as a communications medium: it's inherently broadcast.
    I would refer to it as "interception-friendly" rather than broadcast.
  • Re:outlook 2k3 (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Kyouryuu ( 685884 ) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @03:32PM (#8466752) Homepage
    On the other hand, I'd really like to see a good equivalent to Evolution on Windows that's not Outlook. The security flaws in Outlook forever soured me on the product. And even if Microsoft seals them, it doesn't change the fact that it's obvious e-mail spammers / virus writers design around Outlook.

    Mozilla Thunderbird is nice, but I wouldn't mind seeing a calendar, scheduler, daily weather reports, and news also appearing when I start it up. I haven't seen a free e-mail client on Windows that does this aside from Outlook.

  • Re:hmmm (Score:3, Interesting)

    by be-fan ( 61476 ) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @03:41PM (#8466908)
    Not FUD. I'm in the same position. I don't want to pay for "Apple Quality Hardware(TM)" (whatever that means, since Apple fans continually claim that Apple uses the exact same hardware). I wanna pay pricewatch prices for pieces of a computer I can stick into pieces I already have. Apple won't let me do that. Whereas I could put together a dual 2.8 GHz Xeon for about $1000 (I already have a harddrive, etc) a comparable (to be generous) dual 1.8 GHz G5 would set me back $2500. Sure, I could get a G4 iMac for dirt cheap, but who wants to use that POS?
  • Ilohamaill (Score:3, Interesting)

    by dirvish ( 574948 ) <(moc.swendnuof) (ta) (hsivrid)> on Thursday March 04, 2004 @04:03PM (#8467232) Homepage Journal
    On the webmail front Ilohamail [ilohamail.org] rocks! Being that it is webmail it of course doesn't have all the features of something like KMail but it has the important ones (or they're in the works). One important one that I know a lot of slashdotters need is spell check.

    I still use Outlook at work because everyone else does and I need to share calendars, public folders, etc. but I use Ilohamail everywhere else. With technology like PHP look to see some webmail apps begin to close the gap in functionality.
  • Re:Next killer app? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Belgand ( 14099 ) <belgand@@@planetfortress...com> on Thursday March 04, 2004 @05:40PM (#8468732) Homepage
    Interestingly this describes precisely the difference in how I communicate with people.

    AIM is for short, quick conversations. Analagous to running into a friend in the hallway or such. Very informal.

    E-mail is for long, formal communications. If I need to ask a professor a question this is the format I'd use. Much like a letter except free, fast, and well... just plain better in almost every way. I wouldn't send an e-mail to someone unless it was a more formal situation or a longer letter. As can probably be discerned e-mail is almost totally unused for daily personal communications.

    ICQ though I use like an alphanumeric pager or a note on a whiteboard. It's short and temporary, but they'll get it if they're not in. Messages are stored in the past so if it's something I might want to keep logged it holds on to it.

    Now, while it all depends on the people who use any particular form of messaging I've found that this works very well and manages to handle almost all my conversations perfectly. If I had to keep up with distant friends through e-mail alone... well, I'm not in nearly as good contact with those friends and speak to them only rarely. Friends on AIM, however, I speak to more often than many people I see IRL.
  • Re:hmmm (Score:3, Interesting)

    by be-fan ( 61476 ) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @06:18PM (#8469316)
    Listen to yourself! You payed $1000 for an 800MHz G4??? And you claim that that parts aren't overpriced? The G4 is a terrible CPU. Its completely bottlenecked by an ancient SDR memory bus. At today's prices, that G4 + motherboard is the equivilent of $70-$80 PC hardware.

    And where do you get G5 motherboards? I can't find a place that sells them. Even if they do, they are most likely Apple-refurb parts, and carry the same insane prices the G4 refurb parts did.

Honesty is for the most part less profitable than dishonesty. -- Plato