New Zealand email pioneer Pegasus Mail is to cease further development of its software, which is used by millions of users worldwide.

Pegasus will also cease developing its Mercury mail transport system.

In a note on the Pegasus Mail website, the founding developer of Pegasus, Dunedin-based David Harris, says development and distribution has ceased.

"We regret this decision, but ongoing difficulties with funding have forced it upon us," he says.

"Sites who have current support subscriptions will be fully supported until their subscriptions expire. We will be looking at developing migration tools to assist those sites in moving together platforms or products."

Harris stressed the decision was purely financial, adding that if sponsors could be found to provide "modest" ongoing funding, he would continue development.

Pegasus was first developed for Novell's Netware platform in 1989-1990.