Thunderbird backers are hoping that the soon-to-be-released "Penelope" add on will improve its prospects in the open source e-mail arena.
The first beta of the "Penelope" open source Eudora client based on Mozilla's Thunderbird debuted this week, less than a year after Qualcomm announced its intention to get out of the commercial e-mail business.
The 8.0 0b1 extension is a quick and easy download and adds some of Eudora's key user interface assets, toolbar icons and keyboard shortcuts to the traditional three-pane Thunderbird e-mail client.
There are several other adds in the extension, including the ability to view mailboxes in separate windows and use the Alt-right-mouse-click to group together select e-mails from the sender (Who) or other categories.
Although some Eudora loyalists bemoan the switch to the Thunderbird look-and-feel, others in the Mozilla camp are are hopeful that the increased energy being applied to the open source e-mail client (and a possible spinoff from the Mozilla Foundation) will take it to the next level.
Thunderbird may never reach or eclipse the market share of its sibling browser Firefox but there's plenty of room for improvement.
The first Eudora open source e-mail client is expected to be released in final form by the end of the year.