I fell in love with Zimbra's Ajax-style interface the first time I saw it.
Slick, powerful, and much more extensible than Microsoft Outlook ever dreamed of being. There was justabout the Zimbra experience: the browser artifacts around the application that , rather than living in an application that just happened to leverage the power of the Web.
No more. For the past few weeks I've been using Zimbra's new Prism-based Desktop. Verdict? It rocks. Take a look at the UI below:
How did Zimbra do this? With Prism, which is a Mozilla project that basically lets applications borrow a tightly integrated, stripped-down version of the Firefox browser to run as standalone applications. This gives them all of the benefits of the browser (and the Web) without the browser artifacts. It's a match made in heaven.
After all, Zimbra gives me the full calendar/e-mail/address book suite that kept me with Entourage, but bombards me with an Internet-full of add-on applications/mashups (flight status, maps, and a range of other Zimlets). In other words, I finally have the "fat client" that I craved while being able to tap into the "fatter client" called the Internet.
It's very cool. You should give it a spin. This is the best e-mail "client" ever built...largely because of its successful marriage of the Web with the desktop. In the future, all applications will be like this--or should be.