They've got a point

Yesterday on El Reg was a nice article about the sorry state of the stand-alone mail client. WebMail has captured what little email people do while not at work, and the in-application messaging features of certain large social networking sites is supplying most of the rest of the private asynchronous chat messaging people are doing. And yes, I'm seeing a lot less non mail-list traffic in my private mailboxes than I was 10 years ago (of course, 10 years ago I was also still on Usenet. For the articles. Really!). Of the messages that aren't list-traffic, the rest are the usual assortment of semi-legit come-ons and a very large percentage of status update type messages from various social networking sites.

Anyway, stand-alone email is not getting the developer attention it once was. The Register article pointed out on page 2 that Opera has a surprisingly good mail client hiding in it. And they're right, it's pretty darned good. I'm using it at home in preference to Thunderbird even. I keep Thunderbird around for those exceedingly rare cases when I need either GPG or S/MIME for something, a feature Opera hasn't gotten around to dealing with yet and probably never will. But for simple email management, the mail client in Opera really is quite good.