Host a Free, Ad-Supported, Enterprise-Class E-mail Server

Last Updated Feb 19, 2009 9:42 AM EST

I hated being a "tween" -- too old to hang out at the playground, too young to get into R-rated movies. Perhaps your business is in the same sort of boat. You've outgrown Gmail, but there's no way you can afford Exchange Server. Well, how would you like a free enterprise class e-mail server? Unison is an ad-supported e-mail system with both a unified backend server that handles both e-mail and telephony and a desktop mail client.

Unison is similar to Outlook, with a full suite of e-mail, contacts, and calendar modes. Since Unison handles both messaging and telephony (VoIP), the software is presence-aware, able to switch your IM status when you are in a meeting or when you take a call.

I played with the demo and it's clear to me that Unison has about the same feature set (and even overall polish) as Outlook. Indeed, if you were in a hurry, you could easily confuse the two. On the other hand, seeing advertisements embedded in business-class e-mail software is disconcerting. Would you use a program like this for free, if the hidden cost was digital billboards on your desktop all day? Weigh in with your opinion in comments. [Via Techcrunch]