Last week Mozilla announced that development of the Thunderbird desktop email client was not the company's highest priority anymore. While that does not mean that development will stop completely at this point, it means that Mozilla itself will only provide stability and security updates for the browser, and that any new feature or feature improvements will have to come through community efforts. It is not really clear how this is going to work out.
There is obviously no reason to panic and switch to another email client right away, but it does not hurt either to look at some of the available alternatives. DreamMail is the second desktop email client that I'm going to look at after Opera Mail some days ago.
Update: DreamMail has been discontinued. The program is no longer maintained which means that you won't receive updates for it anymore. To make matters worse, it is vulnerable to a security exploit. It is highly recommended to change the email client to another one, Thunderbird for example.
When you first start DreamMail after installation you will notice a few things. First, there is no option to import emails or data from Thunderbird. While you can import mail from Outlook Express and FoxMail, you can't do so with Thunderbird emails. This in itself is a big issue for Thunderbird users looking for a new mail client.
If you are now thinking IMAP you will be disappointed again, since DreamMail does not seem to support IMAP at all. This is without doubt a big issue that makes this email client unusable for many users.
First thing that you need to do after installation is add at least one email address to the mail program. DreamMail distinguishes in this context between Pop3 accounts and web mail accounts. Pop3 accounts are standard mail accounts, while webmail accounts open the webmail interface right in the DreamMail client. That does not mean that you need to add accounts like Hotmail or Yahoo Mail as WebMail accounts in DreamMail. You can very well add them as regular email accounts provided that you have the right data at hand to do so.
The program tries to automatically detect the right server settings for incoming and outgoing email based on the email address that you enter. It can furthermore test the settings so that you know right away if everything is working correctly or needs manual adjustment.
You can import the address book from another email client into DreamMail. Depending on the original program or web service that you use, you may need to export it there into a csv file first.
The biggest limitation of the program is without doubt missing IMAP support. This alone disqualifies the program for a lot of users who access their mails using IMAP. It also eliminates the best option to access previously received emails in DreamMail due to the lack of importing options that the program offers to its users. I can't really say much about performance, as I could not import my existing emails into the program. While it certainly will have its appeal to some users, it is not usable for me in its current stage of development.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.