Web-based e-mail, including Google's Gmail, has been muscling out e-mail applications for years. The Washington Post's Rob Pegoraro laments the decay of desktop e-mail -- even Microsoft's Outlook hasn't had a major e-mail upgrade since 2003 -- and examines what it would take to renew its appeal. "Usually, when the dominant vendor sits on its duff, enterprising developers spring into action. But the most promising Microsoft rival, the free, open-source Mozilla Thunderbird ... has grown stale."

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