Inbox, a new start-up founded by Dropbox and MIT alums was launched out of stealth, hoping to power the next generation email applications.

Inbox offers a more modern way to build apps that access end users’ inboxes. But instead of being limited to Gmail, it also works with Yahoo, Microsoft Exchange and others, the company says. In addition, jabs the company’s website, “Inbox is an email company. Google is an advertising company. This product is our focus, and will not be ‘discontinued’ unexpectedly.”

The idea with Inbox is to offer an upgrade of sorts from the “archaic protocols and formats” that developers would otherwise have to learn today in order to work with email. However, it supports a wider range of developers, from those who only need a simple feature to those who want to build full-fledged email clients for end users.

The larger goal with Inbox is not just to offer a suite of developer tools, but to create a new email standard. That means, Grinich(co-founder) says, the company has to provide the fundamental infrastructure as an open source package.“The sync engine is available for free on GitHub, and we welcome discussion and pull requests,” he says. Currently the open source sync engine works with Gmail and Yahoo mail, with plans to expand soon to all IMAP providers. Meanwhile, enterprise users on Microsoft Exchange can request access to the Inbox Developer program, which supports ActiveSync, and is now in private beta.