EPROMPTER 2.0, Tiburon Technology 

Multiple e-mail accounts went from a luxury to a burden a long time ago -- between home, work and Web-mail accounts, you can spend a significant chunk of your time just managing all these separate inboxes. This program provides a simple, if ugly, front-end to up to 16 accounts, including those hosted at AOL and such popular Web-mail sites as Hotmail, Yahoo and Gmail, as well as any Internet-standard Post Office Protocol mailbox. (EPrompter doesn't support the less widely used IMAP option.) 

Once you set up each account in ePrompter, storing your user name and password, this program will notify you of new messages in each with a rotating series of colored balls in the Windows system tray (actual icons would be easier to decipher) or its customizable screensavers. EPrompter's regular window offers a more detailed look at what's in each mailbox -- first each message's sender and subject, then the contents of messages themselves. Note, however, that messages appear in plain text, which will scramble some Web-formatted mail and any attachments. 

You can delete selected messages off their mail servers with a click -- handy for managing spam or virus-laden messages without sullying your hard drive -- and even reply, compose or forward e-mail from within ePrompter. Any outgoing mail will be sent through your own Internet provider's servers; a backup, built-in message-sending function comes with restrictions on its use and will be blocked by many Internet providers (spammers routinely abuse this technique). 

-- Michael Tedeschi