8.8 Beyond Outlook: Other Email Software
Of course Outlook and Outlook Express aren't the only email programs you can use. In fact, some people think other email software is superior to both ‚ and the alternatives are often free. Here are three excellent options if you're thinking of straying.
Tip: If you have a Web-based email account like Hotmail or Yahoo!, see Sidebar 8-1 for a cool way to access it in your favorite email program.
Before Outlook and Outlook Express, Eudora was the email program of choice for power hounds everywhere. And it's still going strong today. Eudora has all kinds of cool features you won't find anywhere else. For example, it can check your email before you send it using its "MoodWatch" feature, which rates the message's level of aggression (based on a quick scan of the text), from an ice cube up to three chili peppers.
Eudora also lets you send voice mail via email, and displays all kinds of statistics about your email usage, including how many messages you've sent in a particular month, as well as your monthly average. You can download Eudora for free from http://www.eudora.com. While the program is free it does come with ads. If the thought of email sponsorship makes you cringe, you can buy an ad-free version of Eudora for $49.95, or use the "light" version, which lacks some of the main program's features (but none of the ones mentioned here).
If you love Firefox, the zippy browser from the Mozilla team (Section 18.104.22.168), consider trying Thunderbird, its email cousin. Thunderbird looks and works a lot like Outlook Express, making it a good choice if you're feeling out-Microsofted, but still want familiar features. You can download it for free from http://www.mozilla.org/products/thunderbird/.
If you're the kind of person who likes animations, colorful picture backgrounds, sound effects, 3-D effects, special fonts, and other such things, this is the program for you. IncrediMail lets you add a bunch of email special effects so that, for example, when you delete a message, you see it being shredded. You can also add special effects to emails that you send , as well. Just imagine your librarian's glee when she receives a funky, multimedia spectacle instead of an ordinary black-and-white text message. You can download IncrediMail from http://www.incredimail.com.
Note: If you switch mail programs, you can usually bring your address book and messages over from your old program. On the old program, look for a feature that exports these items, and after you've done that, look in the new program for a feature that imports them.