Mail for Windows as I like it

I had a problem.

My Problem was to still utilize Windows (I have customers requiring me to build windows-programs for them) but having a decent mail program anyway. With decent I mean that it must at least support the following featureset (in the order of decreasing importance):

  1. IMAP-Support. Not just IMAP-Support, but a good one with things as storing Sent-Mail on the server, using the server to search for messages (although I doubt the efficiency of this as long as I am using Courier on the server side. Searching through 10’000+ textfiles without any index whatsoever is not what *I* call efficient), but also some kind of local caching so that opening folders does not require to get all headers again (which disqualifies Mulberry [and Mutt on Linux]).
  2. Threading Support. I want to have nicely sorted message threads and I want to see a real tree structure
  3. Correct formatting of messages. I absolutly don’t want a thing like Outlook Express that does not allow proper quoting, mime-headers, line-breaks and so on…
  4. Multiple Identities. I have a corporate email-adress I use for customers and a more private one, I used to subscribe to some mailinglists. At least I need to be able to enter more than one Email-Adress per Account (Mullbery does this) or even better to tell the program to use different sender addresses depending on the currently opened folder.
  5. Adressbook synchronisation. As a reader of this weblog you may have seen that I am quite a “synchronization guy”. I want the addresses from my P800 to be in my Mail program. How does not matter for me.
  6. Checking for new Mail in subfolders. I am subscribed to a whole lot of mailinglists and I filter them already on the server (using Exim as MTA, this can be done even without spawning many subprocesses for every message). Many Mail Programs insist on just checking the “INBOX”-Folder for new messages despite the fact that Courier would provide a new message count for every folder.
  7. Color Coding of Messages (Quotations ins different colors).

    I’ve been using Mozilla Mail so far and it fails to support items 4, 5 and 6 in the list above. Mulberry which I tried for a month or two did even fail so support item 1. Calling mutt via ssh on the mailserver also worked, but I had problems with 1, 5 and 6.

    No the point of this article is, that I’ve finally found what I was looking for for the last three years. A Mail client for Windows supoprting the whole list above! The tool is called “Becky!” and comes from a japanese company called RimArts. Only the import of my adresses required a bit of hacking, but everything else (and even more like the “Mailinglist Manager”, the excellent editor, the possibility to use external editors, …) is there.

    Importing the adresses involved a tool called OutPod which is thought for getting a vCard-File out of outlook to store it on the iPod. Becky! has an import-filter for vCard-Files, so this worked nicely (Mozilla *does* have an import-tool for Outlook, but it did not work on my system).

    Just go and give Becky! a try. It’s great!