Mozilla, Thunderbird Facing Trial Separation

Mozilla may separate from Thunderbird, its stand-alone e-mail client, the company's CEO has disclosed. In a posting to her blog Wednesday, CEO Mitchell Baker said that Mozilla's first priority is, and will continue to be, its open-source browser, Firefox. "As a result, Mozilla doesn't focus on Thunderbird as much as we do browsing and Firefox and we don't expect this to change in the foreseeable future," said Baker.

Thunderbird's community, which includes a large number of unpaid programmers, should be cut loose "to determine its own destiny," she said. The e-mail app, which was just updated to version 2.0.0.5 last week, is Mozilla's answer to Microsoft Outlook and Entourage, and other stand-alone e-mailers such as Mail, which is bundled with Mac OS X. Like Firefox, it's free to download, and comes in editions for Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X.

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News source: PCWorld

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20 Comments

I know it's free and open source and I appreciate Thunderbird.

I sometimes use FireFox.

I think however that the programmers (unpaid) should get some payment of some kind.

It's gone from small group to a company, that can't be good news.

phantasmorph said,
I want to like Thunderbird, but unfortunately, it really doesn't compare to a program such as Outlook.

True, but when you can't afford to buy Microsoft Office, Thunderbird is the next best thing. I'm using it myself, but not for long, as I'm gonna be getting a copy of Microsoft Office 2007 soon. My mum works for the NHS, and now, if you work for the NHS, you can get Office for free! You just have to pay for shipping and handling, which wierdly is £18. Still very good, though. Getting a £400 piece of software for less than 1/20th of the price.

I disagree, I actually like the way Thunderbird works. I like the way it handles SMTP servers, for example. Outlook is good when combined with Exchange Server, but on its own I don't like it at all. Not to mention Outlook is far from free and only works on 'Doze.

I make use of the 'Identities' option in Thunderbird. Something that OE lacks. AFAIK something Outlook also lacks. Certainly 2003 and below.

Thunderbird with the Lightning addition and the Provider for Google Calendar addition are extremely powerful and flexible. I get all the benefits of Outlook with it's calendar feature, with the added benefit of being able to access that calendar from anywhere on any computer.

This news about the possible spin-off of Thunderbird is troubling, because I've grown to really enjoy working with it. I switched from using Outlook and have not missed that bloatware one bit.

Radish™ said,
Love Thunderbird, Outlook has too many features and Outlook Express is bland.

I hope Mozilla's view changes.

Radish™

I assume you use TB for personal use?

I have always been a fan and an advocate of Thunderbird, but lately I've been using webmail more and more and simply haven't bothered with it.

Shame to see it go, if it does, because it's a great program.

I'm an OS X Mail user myself, but that's because Mozilla apps on OS X aren't the greatest. If I was on Linux or Windows, I'd be using Thunderbird.

Drop Thunderbird are you kidding? Mozilla needs to devote less enegery to Firefox (after Firefox 3.0) and more to Thunderbird and Sunbird and many others.

They need to work on the other seperated-but-improved components of the Mozilla suite like the calendar and compozer programs!

You know there's firefox 3 and 4? Problem is that like firefox 2, alot more crap in it, making it more heavyweigth, memory hugger. They should try to fix memory leak everyone talk about since 1.0. Just open a webpage like google.com and come back 3 day later, omg 200megs ram used!

I like firefox for all the add-on you can use, but now it's beginning to be slower then IE7 and that's not a good point. Should get back to nothing include and download all add-on you want like in the beginning, I liked when I was launching Firefox, it was right now launch and used less then 10megs of ram.

As for tbird vs outlook, I prefer outlook for 2 main reason: sync with my ppc and can use webmail based (gmail, hotmail and stuff like that, not pop email). I know there is program to be able to get email from hotmail to tbird, but it's simply taking all email from folder you asked and transfer via pop mail, not the samething as seeing all folder right away. I must admit I found outlook slow though. I don't remember for tbird in the other hands.

Leaving Tbird, might not be the best thing but I do prefer they concentrate on firefox, if they can make it lighter like it was back in the beginning and fix those memory leak problem.

Nodiaque said,
As for tbird vs outlook, I prefer outlook for 2 main reason: [...] can use webmail based (gmail, hotmail and stuff like that, not pop email).

Getting Gmail in your mail client is via POP3.

I use Thunderbird and home and Outlook at work. Outlook is great at work because I use the reminders, calendar, et al it provides. Home I don't use these features as much, so Thunderbird is perfect for just general mail access.

On the other hand, I tried Windows Live Mail and was very, very close to switching.

I just bloody swapped from Outlook 2007 to Thunderbird and now they are dropping it??? FFS just my luck!!! Is this a definite thing? should I go back to Outlook? some one give me some advice, please

And to add to that...

Mozilla may separate from Thunderbird

Even if they do drop it, sounds like it'll still be out there to be built upon and downloaded, just not under the watchful eye of Mozilla.

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