Mozilla had made an announcement in the beginning of July 2012 that seemed to go largely unnoticed by most blogs. They have decided to end development of their e-mail client Thunderbird. Thunderbird is an open source e-mail client that has been in development for years side-to-side with the Firefox browser.
Mozilla seems to feel Thunderbird is no longer a viable development in this day and age’s technological market, so they are shelving Thunderbird in an effort to take those resources and begin working on other projects.
Mozilla to end development of its e-mail client Thunderbird
For those of us who have used Thunderbird for years, this is sad news. The only other viable client out there for Windows-based users is Microsoft Outlook which is as clunky and outdated despite recent updates as the most basic of clients. Thunderbird did what we wanted, Outlook still does not in most cases. Will Microsoft use this as an opportunity to make Outlook more user friendly? Or will they just continue focusing on Windows 8, other projects and let Outlook continue to function the way it is.
While Mozilla will continue to update security and stability-based features in Thunderbird, its evolution and new features will no longer be focused on. This essentially leaves Thunderbird dead. While the basic features of Thunderbird will still work for most users, those impressed by Mozilla’s continued development of their projects are disappointed by this decision. It also leaves them wondering if Mozilla has something up their sleeves to surprise fans who are wondering what will fill the void by Thunderbird’s demise.
Mozilla has for the last year tried to match the pace of development Google has released with Chrome. This includes more overall updates, less big launch updates and helping to develop features that users will truly benefit from. It seems that Mozilla’s shift away from Thunderbird could benefit the long-term stability, development and evolution of Firefox into something that could truly compete with Chrome once more. Only time will tell what Mozilla will choose to do with Firefox or
What does this mean for the future of e-mail clients?
Microsoft Outlook is now one of the only fully fledged and developed e-mail client on the market. Most either love Outlook or they hate it and opted for something like Thunderbird. In this case, those of us dedicated to Thunderbird will most likely have some time to decide whether they jump ship to seek out something better. While there are other, smaller e-mail clients out there that are being worked on, developed and used, nothing as big as Outlook and Thunderbird.
If you are using another e-mail client, let us know what it is and what you think of it. Also, let us know why you think it is better than Outlook or Thunderbird. We would love to know what you think.
You can read more on Mozilla’s new governance model here.