Rumors and Speculation on the Future of Claris

During Macworld San Francisco came the rumors that Claris would discontinue Emailer. With freeware Eudora Lite and the emailer in Internet Explorer 4.0, perhaps people would be unwilling to pay for Emailer.

Well, I paid for Emailer – and for the upgrade to version 2.0. At work we’re slowly moving people from Eudora Lite to Emailer. It’s simply the best email manager on the market, as MacHome recognizes in its February 1998 issue. Emailer is the kind of insanely great software Microsoft never manages to come up with.

Frankly, if this is the case, I will start a “Save Emailer” campaign.

Today (Jan. 13), MacInTouch relates rumors that Claris will sell FileMaker Pro to Oracle – and ClarisWorks and the Mac OS will be brought under the Apple banner. The operative word, of course, is rumors.

Putting one and one together, I wonder if Apple plans on closing the Claris division. (Yes, one of Apple’s consistent profit centers.) If so, why?

Mind you, this is only speculation. Steve Jobs already has Apple in bed with Microsoft, which need not be a bad thing. But what if part of the agreement was that Apple would not compete with Microsoft in the applications software arena?

If that were the case, Claris would try to sell FileMaker Pro to someone who would keep it alive and well. Frankly, FileMaker Pro is the most important product in the Claris stable, if not in the entire Macintosh software industry. Too many users depend on FileMaker for it to simply disappear.

With Internet Explorer, Netscape Navigator, and CyberDog bundled with the Mac OS, users already have three options for surfing the internet and managing their email. Anyone can download Eudora Lite for free. AOL users get free software.

Yet Claris Emailer has carved out a niche among those willing to pay for email software. It stands head and shoulders above the free products, offering easy integration of multiple email accounts and powerful filtering and storage options. Frankly, it’s worth every penny Claris charges for it.

But if Apple has agreed to pull out of the software business, Emailer will either be killed or sold off.

Fortunately, Microsoft Works seems to be history, killed by Microsoft Office on the high end and ClarisWorks on the low end. I wouldn’t want Office on my computer, but I’d be lost without ClarisWorks. Apple must keep it alive, even if only to bundle with computers as a catchall application.

BTW, Claris pretty much cleaned up in MacHome’s Reader’s Choice Awards. ClarisWorks won both the word processing and spreadsheet categories. FileMaker Pro took database honors. Emailer handily won as the best email application. And Home Page was top choice for web page creation.

I’d be lost without Home Page. Version 1 was excellent. Version 2 was incredible. Version 3 is almost untoppable (well, I could add one or two features). But Microsoft also makes web design software….

Clarus the dogcow

Clarus the dogcow

If Apple kills Claris the cash cow, many of us will be justifiably upset. We have grown dependent on the efficiency of ClarisWorks, the power of FileMaker Pro, the grace of Emailer, and the simplicity of Home Page.

Sure, Apple can sell these products to other vendors, but that dismantles the best competition Microsoft has. (Did you know that the fastest growing sector at Claris is Windows versions of its applications?)

Let’s hope the rumors and speculation are false. Claris has been a shining star in the Macintosh heavens.

MacWeek posted the following article on January 15, 1998.

Claris Emailer Alive and Kicking

Contrary to rumors circulating on the Internet, Claris Emailer isn’t dead….
“In a nutshell, Claris has not ceased development of Emailer,” said Steve Ruddock, a spokesman for the Santa Clara, Calif., company.

It’s public knowledge that Emailer 2.0v3 is under development; release is immanent. Thus, “Claris has not ceased development of Emailer.” However, note that there is no promise of future versions or upgrades – only the statement that the program remains under development at the present time.

If you use Claris Emailer, use this link to let Claris know what you think of it, and that you hope they continue improving it.

Addition January 30, 1998

If you use Claris Emailer, click here to join Mac Geeks’ Think Emailer! campaign. I personally think Emailer is a gem. It’s so well done, I haven’t even considered Eudora Pro or Outlook Express.

Keywords: #emailer #clarisemailer

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