After what he describes as an "avalanche" of support, Pegasus Mail and Mercury author and developer, Dave Harris has decided to continue maintaining one of the world's first free E-mail services.
But, Harris says on his website, the service will have to be structured in such a way that funding becomes available for future development and maintenance.
"Let me say emphatically that it was never my desire to cease development, but maintaining and supporting these programs is a full-time, expensive process, and I simply cannot do it without sufficient ongoing reliable financial support," Harris says.
"In response to the torrent of messages, though, I have now decided to restart development and distribution of both programs," he continues. "To make this possible, it will be necessary to restructure the way I fund them in some way that will attract an adequate and sustained level of financial support.
"I and my test team are still working out the exact details of the changes we will make but, in a nutshell, it is likely that Pegasus Mail will become 'donationware', while Mercury will become fully-licenced based on numbers of mailboxes, with a certain number of mailboxes provided free of charge.
"Public discussion (on the Pegasus Mail and Mercury mailing lists) will be solicited before any final decision is made.
"Pegasus Mail and Mercury have served the Internet for 17 years: it's now really up to you, the community it serves, to decide whether it makes it to 20 years and beyond," Harris says.