ITS Recommends Thunderbird to Eudora users

After a period of testing and review, ITS staff are pleased to recommend Mozilla’s Thunderbird to current users of Eudora. Among the available choices, we found that both Macintosh and Windows users were most likely to experience a smooth transition from Eudora when migrating to Thunderbird.

Of the two most critical features highlighted in feedback from faculty and staff, mailbox and address book preservation, our testers experienced the easiest migration of their existing data when transferring to Thunderbird.

ITS staff will continue to provide technical support for Microsoft Outlook on Windows and for Apple Mail on Mac OS. Our recent survey on email, calendaring and collaboration tools backs up this decision—faculty and staff currently use Mozilla Thunderbird, Apple Mail, and Microsoft Outlook in nearly equal numbers. Apple Mail and Outlook users do not need to change their email software at this time.

So you still run Eudora. What next?

We have compiled a list of several hundred people who are still using Eudora and/or using the older POP email account format. Client Services staff from ITS will personally assist people who are making the switch to Thunderbird and IMAP. Because of the large number of people impacted, we expect the process to take a number of months to complete.

One of the project team members working on conversions will be in contact with you to coordinate a time for conversion. From late May to August, we expect to place a heavier emphasis on working with administrative departments, because of the availability of that group during the summer months. We expect a lull in the process in August and September because of the start of the school year, but we will resume work on the conversions in the fall until the process is complete.

For answers to technical questions about migrating from Eudora, please check the frequently asked questions (FAQ) document.

If you still have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me (behrens, x7839) or Robin Jacobsen (jacobsen, x8597).

If you are also receiving a new computer…
If you are an administrative departmental user who is expecting a new computer this summer, we will attempt to complete your email conversion close to or during the hardware upgrade process. Because of the complexity of the change, the combined upgrade process could take up to two days to complete for some systems.

If you are an academic departmental user who is expecting a new computer this summer, we will contact you. If you wish us to migrate mail at the same time as your hardware upgrade, we will do so. We hope that this approach will minimize surprise and disruption as you begin preparations for the new academic year in August.

This announcement relates to the current Email, Calendaring, and Collaboration Tools (ECCT) project. One of the objectives of the project’s first phase is to discontinue use of the Eudora mail client, which is still widely used by faculty and staff. This work is necessary because all Eudora development was discontinued in early 2007. As operating systems advance, old software becomes increasingly unreliable. The conversion is not urgently required yet, but it is necessary. ITS is committed to enabling a smooth transition while we have the time to conduct a planned process.

For more information, please follow news on the ECCT project at the ITS web site.