(updated about 5 months ago by John H.)
Name: Mozilla ThunderBird
Score: (4/5) "As good as pay software"

Why it stands Out:
* Spam filtering and email rules built in.
* It's free, open-source.
* It has free add-ons, for calendar, tasks, Gmail integration, etc.
* There is a very active community for help and support.
* Portable version that requires no install. It runs straight from a hard drive, USB stick or DropBox.  You can carry your email program around with you. Slick. Try doing that with Outlook.

What it's missing: In order to get a professional email program, you have to do a lot of installing add-ons: Lightening calendar, THEN the Google calendar connector, THEN the Google tasks connector, which doesn't connect to Thunderbird tasks, cha cha cha.   

I lived with Thunderbird as a default personal info manager.  The address book took some fiddling to be really useful.  I couldn't drag and drop emails into appointments and tasks. But that was ... about for Outlook advantages.

Conclusion: Can you skip Outlook, save your hard-earned and just use Thunderbird? It takes a little "do-it-yourself" to set up, but, yeah, you betcha!

Keywords: Email, spam