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Eudora adds new security in version 5.1

Wireless communications company Qualcomm announces the release of version 5.1 of its popular e-mail program.

Wireless communications company Qualcomm announced on Thursday the release of version 5.1 of its Eudora e-mail program.

Eudora, a standalone e-mail program, is noteworthy for its support of the Macintosh operating system. The Eudora version that can be used under the Mac OS X is currently in beta.

Version 5.1 enables more secure connections for sending and receiving e-mail and conducting online transactions over the Internet by employing the Secure Socket Layer Internet security standard.

The addition of security features and Mac OS X support represents efforts to survive in the business, according to Gartner analyst Chris LeTocq.

"These moves are to stay in front of a business that is becoming a commodity," LeTocq said. "The question is: Is it enough? Some people don't even know that they need security, so they may not even care."

People don't even have to pay for the service, if they don't mind a few advertisements. San Diego-based Qualcomm offers the same version of Eudora with two payment methods: one that costs $49.95 and does not display ads, and another that is free but includes ads.

The company has tried to distinguish Eudora with other features, such as version 5.0's Moodwatch, which issued a warning when it thought a flame mail was about to be sent.

Once the most popular e-mail software on the market, Eudora has found competition from Microsoft's Outlook and Outlook Express. However, Gartner analyst Joyce Graf said there may be room for more companies to flourish as people increasingly use more than one e-mail address.

"Many people have an address for work and for home; in fact, there are more e-mail addresses in the United States than there are people," Graf said.

Security is an issue that Eudora users are familiar with. In version 4.3.2 of the software a hole was discovered but a patch was quickly developed.