The popular alternative to Microsoft’s Outlook, the Mozilla Foundation’s Thunderbird has finally reached its end of active development stage. This is according to a blog post by the Mozilla Foundation chairman Mitchell Baker.
What implications does it have for more than 20 million users all over the world? Thunderbird Managing Director JB Piacentino had recently written a confidential letter which somehow landed in the hands of TechCrunch. It appears that he does not believe that ongoing product level development of Thunderbird is feasible and desirable. Given the fact that the Mozilla Foundation has a vast and diverse set of goals, from here on Thunderbird becomes one of their lesser priorities. Having said that, what remains important for the Foundation is the stability of the product and address to ongoing security issues and threats.
While Outlook has been the default email and personal organizer client which Microsoft users are forced to use, Thunderbird offers them a customized and much smarter interface. There are many features in the latest 13.0.1. (for Windows) release which allows users to choose a new email account from within the Thunderbird client, access to multiple emails in a tabbed display, attachment reminder that scans the email you are about to send for words such as attachment and file types and then reminds you to attach the same, search, archive tool, manage large attachments using third party file handling sites and so on.
With the Thunderbird development stopped by Mozilla Foundation, users will no longer get a direct update for further developments for their favorite email client. However, a final Thunderbird ESR edition will be released later in November. Another version which is going to be called the Vanilla Thunderbird will also be released by the Mozilla Foundation, which they are expecting the users to continue to customize and advance as an open source project.