e-mail program

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e-mail program

Software in the user's computer, tablet or smartphone that accesses the mail servers in a local or remote network. Also known as an "e-mail client," "mail client," "mail program," and "mail reader," it provides the ability to send and receive e-mail messages and file attachments. Examples of e-mail programs for personal computers are Outlook, Eudora and Thunderbird.

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E-mail programs are local applications that years ago had more features than Web-based e-mail, which uses the Web browser as the interface. As Web mail interfaces improve, there are fewer advantages of the stand-alone e-mail client, except in smartphones where viewing a Web page is cumbersome. Smartphone mail programs are designed for small screens.

In addition, before mail can be retrieved, e-mail programs must be installed in the computer, and mail server addresses and protocols must be configured. Although smartphone mail clients are pre-installed, they still require configuration.

In contrast, users can log into their Web-based e-mail from any computer in the world with username and password. Nevertheless, people get used to software, and it only takes one or two features in an e-mail client program to make it preferable to the Web browser interface. See e-mail interfaces, messaging system, universal client, POP3 and IMAP4.
References in periodicals archive ?
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Plaxo for Mac represents a major step toward the company's vision to offer the first truly universal personal contact management service, accessible on any platform, email client, browser, or mobile device.
With Scalix, customers get the best of two worlds: a solid, field-proven technology core that is highly reliable, with cutting edge innovations like a powerful AJAX web email client and cross-platform inter-organizational calendaring.