There are thousands of clients out there with thousands of different databases used to save e-mails. Not all database files are compatible with one another. The most notorious of the bunch is PST. I got this idea after reading this article from HowToForge.com. The article mention conversion of PST to Maildir format only, but this can be extended to much more than that.
The most important thing that you need is an IMAP server. You can build the server yourself on a Linux by following the instruction on the link above at HowToForge.com, or from your ISP. Most ISP provides mailboxes with IMAP access. After you have the connection to your IMAP provider, everything is just a drag and drop. In Outlook, you can drag and drop e-mails or folders to the IMAP server. On the new client, you just do the opposite, drag and dropping from the IMAP server to the new client of choice.
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