QUALCOMM announced on Wednesday that it is halting the development of the Eudora email client and is now working with the Mozilla Foundation to turn it into an open source project. Future versions of Eudora will be based on the same technology platform as the Mozilla Thunderbird email client.
QUALCOMM states that the open source version of Eudora will be free, and "will retain Eudorais uniquely rich feature set and productivity enhancements." It will be available some time in the first half of 2007.
QUALCOMM FAQ on Eudora states "QUALCOMM has decided not to remain in the email market because it is not in alignment with the core business or strategic goals. By moving Eudora to an open source product, QUALCOMM can exit the Eudora business while still supporting Eudora users and advancing the Eudora e-mail client at a faster pace than before, through the power of the open source development community."
Eudora 6.2.4 - the most current version for the Mac - gets a price reduction to US$19.95, and includes three technical support incidents in a six month period. Current technical support agreements will be honored in full until their expiration date.
Spinning out Eudora to the open source community may turn out to be a good thing for the email application and its users. Steve Dorner, Eudorais original developer and vice president of technology for QUALCOMMis Eudora Group commented "Using the Mozilla Thunderbird technology platform as a basis for future versions of Eudora will provide some key infrastructure that the existing versions lacked, such as a cross-platform code base and a world-class display engine. Making it open source will bring more developers to bear on Eudora than ever before."