| By Scott Spanbauer |
A free, open-source app and a low-cost commercial program give Outlook, Microsoft’s personal information manager (PIM), a run for its money.
They may not be practical for organizations that rely on Microsoft Exchange Server, Outlook’s back end, but these two programs have much to offer typical PC users.
Can these apps out-Outlook Outlook?
In my July 31 column, I admitted my long-term addiction to Microsoft Outlook and described two alternative PIMs that come close to replicating Outlook’s killer features, without the program’s proprietary formats and hunger for memory.
Mozilla Thunderbird 2, with a score of 92, is free, full of features, and highly extensible thanks to a community of add-on developers. i.Scribe — and its more powerful commercial sibling InScribe — is a better fit for older systems where memory is tight. The free version of i.Scribe scored 88, while the $20 version scored 90.
To sum up Part I of this review, the applications rated #1 and #2 are as follows:
#1: MOZILLA THUNDERBIRD 2
#2: MEMECODE I.SCRIBE/INSCRIBE
This week, I look at two other worthy replacements for Outlook: Poco Systems’ Barca 2.5 and the Open Source Applications Foundation’s just-debuted Chandler. Barca is a commercial application that in many ways mimics Outlook but costs less and requires less system memory. Chandler is a free, open-source organizer that may not be the best e-mail program but shows promise as an innovative group-communication tool.