Eudora Guide: History, Origin, and More

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Eudora Guide: History, Origin, and More

Six Facts About Eudora

  • Development for Eudora started in 1988 at the University of Illinois and took over a year to create the first working version.
  • Eudora was originally only 50,000 lines of code written in the C programming language and only operated on Apple Macintosh.
  • As a University-developed software, Eudora was initially released for free. However, over its time as a popular email client, it was sold for $19.95 and even reach up to $65 to download and use.
  • Eudora was licensed by Qualcomm in 1991. Qualcomm then hired the developer, Steve Dorner, to continue to improve his work under the Qualcomm branding.
  • Before the commercial release of the Eudora email client, the development team for the software grew to over 50 people in order to help develop cross-platform compatibility and ease of use. (Before email clients, digital mail communication required technical expertise to manage mail repositories.)
  • Official development for Eudora ended in 2006 with the release of Eudora 7. Its popularity had been noted by other software companies like Microsoft who began to preload their email client, Outlook, for free on Windows machines.

What Is Eudora: Explained

Eudora was an email client developed before the easy-use digital mail delivery that we enjoy today. Steve Dorner started the project in 1988 due to the growing presence of desktop computers and internet connectivity. Before proper email clients had come to be developed, computer users had to be logged into a type of mainframe computer to access mail repositories. As desktop computers grew in popularity, Dorner had acknowledged that a new email replacement was needed.

Over a year of development and 50,000 lines of code later, Eudora was born. The release marked the start of free software that allowed Macintosh users to manage their digital mailbox without leaving their homes or finding access to a mainframe computer. Project managers at Qualcomm knew that their email client needed to be more accessible to other operating systems at the time like MS-DOS.

Quick Facts

Creator (person)
Steve Dorner
Original Price
Free then $19.95
Operating System
Windows, macOS
Developed By (company)

The software was commercialized in 1993. The software was released with two variants; a paid version for $19.95 and a free version supported by advertisement revenue. The last version to be released was Eudora for Windows and 6.2.4 for Macintosh on October 11, 2006.

How to Use Eudora

Anyone interested in using the software as an email replacement for Windows 10 and other modern operating systems can find the software on online repositories like Softonic or directly from Qualcomm.

Start by downloading the software from your preferred source. Once completed, run the setup. It will walk you through the initial steps. If you are used to modern email clients and mail applications, you may find that Eudora is dated and slightly more difficult to use. Like any other mail application, you will have to play around with the settings and options to get a full grasp of how to use it.

How to Learn Eudora

The best method for learning to use Eudora 7, Eudora 8, or the open-source edition is to dive right in. There are quite a few options to mess with, but it is less complicated than modern email client applications like Outlook. However, there are plenty of online education sources to get around this. The best method is through video tutorials on YouTube.

These applications still work for Windows 10 even if the user interface may be outdated.

The Difference Between Eudora and Outlook

The software was designed to be the most feature-rich and user-friendly email client to access mail repositories and download mail communications. The outlook was designed much later as a competitive piece of software to be built-in into Microsoft’s Windows operating systems. It mimicked the release of Eudora by at first operating as a free email client software which has continued to this day as Mail for Windows 10.

Eudora’s development was ended in 2006 due to the growing options of free mail software. Microsoft’s Outlook continued development aggressively and is still improved upon to this day.

email client ex Eudora

The last version to be released was Eudora for Windows and 6.2.4 for Macintosh on October 11, 2006.

Eudora Release History

Eudora 1

The initial release version was written by Steve Dorner. It was only 50,000 lines of code and ran exclusively on Apple Macintosh.

Eudora Commercial Release

In 1993, Qualcomm had managed to develop it to a point it worked across the different available operating systems at the time (IBM, PC, and Macintosh).

Eudora 7

The final version release of Eudora before the commercial version of the product was discontinued due to the growing pool of free email clients from other software developers like Microsoft.

Eudora 8

This version of the software is still available for download. It was an attempt to revive the email client for a more modern audience. It was released in August 2007 and can still be found available for download at software repository sites like Softonic. Unfortunately, many of the design changes were not well received.

Eudora OSE

The software has since been released as an open-source software available for developers to use as either an email replacement or the basis for other projects. The production version 1 was renamed to Eudora OSE (Open Source Edition) in September 2010.

Eudora: End of Development

Eudora was a wild success at its peak. Its success may have been what lead to its downfall. As it began to market features only available through its email client, other software companies had begun to release free email replacements in the same manner.

Unfortunately for Qualcomm, that meant Eudora 7 was retailing at $65 while other new email client software was released for free and some even preinstalled to the operating system at purchase. The company began to lose money due to the cost of development. Qualcomm reorganized its plan to support software creation and networking which lead to the creation of Mozilla.

There were two attempts to bring the software back to life, but neither was successful. Eudora 8 and Eudora OSE, the last attempts to make the software relevant once again, can still be accessed for download from Qualcomm and other software archiving websites.

Up Next…

Frequently Asked Questions

When did Eudora come out?

Eudora was licensed by Qualcomm in 1991, but the official commercial release was in 1993.

What was the original price of Eudora?

Eudora was initially released for free. As its development continued, it began to come at the price of $19.95 and eventually sold for up to $65.

What’s Eudora?

Eudora was one of the earliest user-friendly e-mail clients created to ease the task of sending messages between separate computers. Before Eudora, email was accessed through specific mainframe computers. It could be difficult, required tech-savvy, and was overall inconvenient. Many email users at the time hated having to communicate through email as it was rather aggravating. Eudora changed that.

Eudora made it easy for anyone with a desktop computer, regardless of the operating system. It can even be credited as the inspiration for many of the services widely use today like Gmail, Outlook, Proton Mail, Mozilla, and many others.

Does Eudora mail still exist?

Eudora 7 can still be downloaded and used today. However, it has not been changed since the last development updates in 2006. There were two attempts to bring Eudora back to popularity. One was in 2007, as a beta of version 8 was released in August. It was not received well by Eudora fans.

The second attempt at Eudora revival was made in September 2010. The production version 1 was renamed to “Eudora OSE (Open Source Edition)”. However, it was not well received either. These two versions can still be downloaded and used today for Windows 10, Windows 11, and macOS.

Who invented Eudora?

Eudora was created by Steve Dorner at the University of Illinois. It was later licensed by Qualcomm, where development continued until 2006.

What computer language is Eudora written in?

Eudora was written in the C computer programming language. It was originally released with 50,000 lines of code.

Who owns Eudora?

Eudora was laid to rest as a commercial offer and active development was stopped in 2006, but the rights of the email software still belong to Qualcomm.

When was Eudora founded?

Eudora was founded in 1988 at the University of Illinois by Steve Dorner.

Is Eudora free?

Eudora today is no longer in development. The last updates were made in 2006. However, it can still be used for free. During the peak of Eudora’s popularity, it was available as both a free and paid version much like Microsoft’s Outlook services today.

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