Qualcomm Incorporated (Nasdaq: QCOM), a leader in digital wireless communications and advanced electronic messaging solutions for the Internet, today announced that it will begin providing a sponsor-supported version of the full-featured Eudora® email program to Windows® and Macintosh® users at no charge. This represents a major, free upgrade for over 16 million existing Eudora Light® users, and a powerful solution for other email users as well. Now, instead of two options - Eudora Light (freeware) or Eudora Pro® (payware) - users will receive one product, Eudora, which can operate in any of three user-selected modes: Sponsored mode, Paid mode or Light mode. A preview beta release of the new software, limited to 250,000 users, is available for download atwww.eudora.com, beginning today. Commercial release is slated for the first quarter of 2000."As the world's messaging traffic ramps up, more and more users are becoming overloaded with email," said Jeffrey K. Belk, vice president of Qualcomm and general manager of Qualcomm's Eudora Products. "Without the right tools, it becomes difficult just to keep up, much less exercise the full potential of email communications. We're giving users a way to regain control of their email, with powerful filtering, filing and search capabilities, and features that automate such tedious tasks as spell checking and addressing. We're doing this by giving users the choice of a free, sponsor-supported version of the full-paid email program. We think that's a good value proposition."User Choice: One Product, Three Operating ModesQualcomm will no longer develop separate Eudora Pro and Light versions. Instead, users will be able to select any of three operating modes from within the same Eudora email client software:
- Sponsored mode: When this mode is selected, the user has the full-featured Eudora desktop email client at no charge. The software will display one at a time a series of static onscreen advertisements that do not interfere with the user's email workspace. The free download of Eudora installs in Sponsored mode.
- Paid mode: When this mode is selected, Eudora will guide the user through the payment process. Once the process is complete, the user has the full-featured Eudora software client without advertising. Qualcomm will continue to sell Eudora through major national computer retailers for customers who prefer to purchase the product in box form, as well as direct at www.eudora.com, and through electronic retailers. When a customer purchases the software at retail or via electronic download, Eudora installs in Paid mode and will not display advertising. The suggested retail price is $49.95, less a $10 mail-in rebate (rebate United States/Canada only).
- Light mode: This mode is an upgrade to the current Eudora Light, Qualcomm's freeware version of Eudora. However, it does not have as many features as the full client available in Sponsored and Paid modes. This version of Eudora email will include a sponsor image or logo, but no rotating advertising.
"What I care about is that Qualcomm continues to do good things with Eudora, and that users continue to have a good experience in it," said Steve Dorner, vice president of technology for Qualcomm's Eudora Products and original developer of the Eudora client. "Since what we've done is simply add a new form of Eudora to the ones we had already, everybody wins."A Major, Free UpgradeUpon commercial release, millions of users will be able to upgrade to the full-featured Eudora email client at no cost. The capabilities found in the Sponsored and Paid modes of Eudora allow users to:
- Manage messages and eliminate unwanted email easily through extensive filtering capabilities;
- Organize messages by creating virtually unlimited folders and nested mailboxes;
- Find messages quickly with the powerful search function;
- Address emails quickly and easily with automatic name completion;
- Manage multiple email accounts easily and discretely within the single client;
- Work uninterrupted by sending and receiving email in background;
- Enjoy the advantages of a word processor with automatic spell checking and the ability to choose numerous font, formatting and color settings;
- Engage in more complete communications through easy handling of attachments and the ability to view html graphics right in the body of a message.
These are just a few of the capabilities of the full Eudora email client, which adheres to standard Internet email protocols and can easily import settings, mail and address books from Microsoft Outlook Express 5.0 (or older) or Netscape Communicator 4.0.Qualcomm will use the new business model as the platform from which it will drive long-term product development - enhancements that will benefit Eudora's loyal user base, as well as new users. Qualcomm's unique position - spanning the converging wireless and Internet spaces - will drive Eudora's development. First, the Company will develop more intelligent and efficient ways of managing users' burgeoning message load. Second, the company will extend the way users send and receive messages beyond the desktop computer into handheld and wireless devices. Qualcomm's development of PureVoice® speech coding technology and an email/browser suite for the Palm Computing platform are early indicators of this direction.A User-centric DesignUnlike other free email offered on the Web, Eudora's Sponsored mode is designed to accommodate advertising without compromising the user experience. Ads appear one at a time in a window outside the main message composition and reading area. Strict guidelines have been put in place to ensure that the advertising is not unnecessarily distracting - no advertising with sound or animation will be allowed."We're staying true to Eudora's heritage as an Internet pioneer by remaining focused on our customers and continuing to provide the option of a free email solution," said Belk. "Privacy and choice are important values in the Internet community. We've restructured Eudora in a way that extends the range of choices, while also protecting the user experience and privacy of personal information."Users are not required to provide any up-front profiling information in order to receive the new Eudora - only a user name and a valid email address are needed to register the product. On a purely voluntary basis, users will be asked to profile themselves so that the advertising they receive will be more relevant. This data will only be used for targeting advertising and users' personal information will not be shared with advertisers. On installation, Eudora defaults to the Sponsored mode, however the user always has the option of switching to the Paid or Light mode.AvailabilityThe preview beta version of the new Eudora is available for download beginning today at www.eudora.com. Qualcomm will limit the preview to the first 250,000 active users. The commercial version is scheduled for release in North America in the first quarter of 2000. Qualcomm's republishing partner in Japan, KUNI Research, is expected to release the Japanese version by the end of the first quarter 2000. Qualcomm plans to release other foreign language versions of the new Eudora for Europe and Latin America by the end of 2000.About EudoraFirst developed for the Macintosh operating system by Internet pioneer Steve Dorner in 1989-1990, Eudora led the email revolution with its easy-to-use interface and advanced email management features. Qualcomm adopted Eudora for internal use in 1991, extending development to the Windows platform, and Dorner joined the company shortly thereafter. As a leader in developing and delivering digital communications, Qualcomm recognized email as an important communications tool for the future. The company acquired the rights to Eudora and launched it as a consumer product in 1993. Since its initial launch, the computer industry has recognized Eudora with more than 70 industry awards. Today, more than 20 million people worldwide use Eudora email.Qualcomm Incorporated (www.qualcomm.com) is a leader in developing and delivering innovative digital wireless communications products and services based on the Company's CDMA digital technology. The Company's business areas include CDMA phones; integrated CDMA chipsets and system software; technology licensing; Eudora email software for Windows and Macintosh computing platforms; and satellite-based systems including OmniTRACS® and portions of the Globalstar™ system. Headquartered in San Diego, Calif., Qualcomm is included in theS&P500 Index and is a 1999 FORTUNE 500® company traded on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol QCOM.Except for the historical information contained herein, this news release contains forward-looking statements that are subject to risks and uncertainties, including timely product development, the Company's ability to successfully manufacture significant quantities of CDMA or other equipment on a timely and profitable basis, and those related to performance guarantees, change in economic conditions of the various markets the Company serves, as well as the other risks detailed from time to time in the Company's SEC reports, including the report on Form 10-K for the year ended September 26, 1999, and most recent Form 10-Q.###