Desktop email clients are as prolific as anyone could wish for, making the choice of one solution a difficult task for many a user. They might appear to be losing the battle for dominance to webmail, but only on the surface. Namely, to this day, desktop email clients remain a more stable and secure of the two, due to their spotless encryption.
That, and the fact that desktop clients make all read messages available offline add up to their popularity.
Popular Desktop Email Clients for Windows
Probably the most popular desktop email client for Windows is MS Office. We’d argue that this is so only because it has been around for a long time and not because it is the best solution out there. Not meaning to undermine its qualities, but the fact remains that MS Office is not an inexpensive tool and certainly not needed by all users. Businesses might beg to differ, but we’re not sure when it comes to the average user.
There are numerous desktop email clients – both paid and free. Both have their pros and cons; when it comes to common functionalities, however, they all operate in the same way. They use third-party-free superior encryption, allow for working offline and provide an alternative approach to email attachments. The latter means they integrate with various external services, such as is, e.g., Dropbox, which stores attachments and provides the recipient with a download link. In this way, desktop email clients don’t suffer from limited storage space, which has proven to be one of the first benefits why users prefer them over webmail.
Back to the topic of most popular desktop email clients, in addition to MS Office, those include Mozilla Thunderbird, eM Client, Windows Live Mail, and SeaMonkey. A word or two on each of those follows promptly below.
Mozilla Thunderbird supports Windows, Linux, and Mac. It runs on the Gecko (the same as Firefox), which means it is seamlessly customizable with themes, extensions, and add-ons. Thunderbird features a simple design and has great visibility. Until recently, it was the most usual choice of free desktop email clients. Nowadays the competition is somewhat fiercer. Still, Thunderbird fans are known for remaining loyal to it over the years, as the desktop email client has never failed them.
eM Client follows the established routine of “what you see is what you get”, with a zest of user-friendliness. Upon encountering it for the first time, users may easily find themselves wondering whether they are looking into some similar email client. Either that or they might be pleasantly surprised at how familiar everything is. The latter is known to be often the determining factor in choosing an email client, meaning the team behind eM known exactly what they’re doing.
Similar to MS Outlook, eM is a paid option; unlike MS Outlook, eM features diverse functionalities that bring it closer to being a multi-purpose tool than merely an email client. Of those, most notable ones include language detection, message translation (39 languages supported), chat, and Deduplicator.
Merely Deduplicator makes eM Client an outstanding choice of an email client. What the option does is automatically discover duplicate emails, contacts, tasks, and events. A pretty convenient contraption, if eM users are to be believed.
Windows Live Mail
Windows Live Mail (WLM) is widely known for its two-line vertical view, which makes it simple and yet powerful. Not only does it increase visibility, but it also gives off the impression that all functions the user might or might not need are exactly where they should be. To be fair, Windows Live Mail is not the only client employing this view; another one is Opera Mail, formerly integral to the Opera browser, and these days a stand-alone email client.
In addition, WLM supports Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync and DeltaSync protocols on top of featuring newsgroup support, RSS feed and calendar integration.
Similarly to eM client, SeaMonkey swings towards multi-functionality. It is an internet suite powered by the Mozilla Firefox source code, making it an easily understandable tool to Firefox users (which are many and growing by the minute).
SeaMonkey features standard email client options as well as the chat functionality, a newsgroup reader, and RSS feed.
MS Outlook is a trusted desktop email client, popular among business users. Among its most popular features are bill pay reminders, meeting RSVP tracking and forwarding, suggested event locations and meeting rooms, organization directory details, multiple time zones, bcc warnings and proxy support.
What the client is most widely known for is the Quick Steps tool, which is a group of actions that can be applied to multiple messages. They are fully customizable, simplify mass email sending, and allow for personalized actions. I.e., a Quick Step may be used to move a message to the preferred folder in one click.
All in all, with the offer so rich, chances are, everyone will find the best solution calling to their needs (and budgets). From Thunderbird to MS Office, desktop email clients rule the offline world.