It tuns out Thunderbird 3, the latest version of the open source e-mail program (and, full disclosure, the program I use) contains an extension called TrustedBird which was originally contributed by the French military.
(Picture from the Mozilla Foundation.)
The extension lets someone know when a message has been read, which is important in military matters but can also help you win the corporate wars as well. The software was recently shown to NATO.
Since switching to Thunderbird 2 a few years ago I have personally been impressed with its reliability and extensive list of add-ons, including a calendar. It has always had enough search capability for me.
But the release of a new POP3 client does bring up some general concerns about the space:
- Lack of innovation
The two problems are related, in my opinion. I have had to use a front-end program called Mailwasher on my POP3 mailbox for years, due to an avalanche of spam, which slows me down tremendously. This despite the fact that my POP3 host began pre-filtering all my e-mail some years ago.
On the other hand Web-based e-mail systems like Google Mail have excellent spam filters that learn from you and detect false positives.
I will give Thunderbird3 a try, but if you want to know what will make this thing really fly it's an integrated solution for better canning spam. And if it had a learning heuristic that would move things into the proper folders I might actually get caught up on my e-mail correspondence next year.