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Mozilla CEO Mitchell Baker has admitted that Thunderbird is to be booted out of the Mozilla camp in order to allow “the Thunderbird community to determine its own destiny” apparently. Put through my patented BS translator this produced “Thunderbird brings us no revenue, gets a bad press whether compared to Outlook or Gmail, and anyway Firefox is our future.”

Although Mozilla has stated it is looking for a new and separate organizational setting for Thunderbird, the writing really does look to be on the wall for the client. As much as I want to like it, and have in the past praised it for daring to be different, the truth is that while Firefox has generated the revenue required to allow the Mozilla Foundation to create something that truly has the ability to shake up the browser client market (and has already done so to a limited extent), Thunderbird has stagnated into just another desktop email client at a time when people are moving away from the same.

Indeed, despite the reported 5 million users of the software, Thunderbird is increasingly looking like the Billy No Mates of the email world. And Firefox is at least to blame as it makes finding and using free web based email services that much easier and rewarding. Gmail has pretty much got the spam situation sorted, unlike Thunderbird which requires plenty of out of the box training to achieve a barely adequate level of Bayesian filter protection. The bigger email hitters, work at home professionals and the business world, look to Microsoft Outlook with its calendaring and organizational capabilities. Again, Thunderbird just cannot compete even with the promise of Mozilla Sunbird.

Baker talks of perhaps releasing Thunderbird in the wild, letting the community continue to develop the project in a similar way as the SeaMonkey suite. The what, do I hear you ask? Exactly. SeaMonkey is what is left of what was Mozilla before Firefox eclipsed all before it. An integrated suite of online applications that, frankly, nobody wants. Maybe, then, this is the right way to go with Thunderbird after all…

As Editorial Director and Managing Analyst with IT Security Thing I am putting more than two decades of consulting experience into providing opinionated insight regarding the security threat landscape for IT security professionals. As an Editorial Fellow with Dennis Publishing, I bring more than two decades of writing experience across the technology industry into publications such as Alphr, IT Pro and (in good old fashioned print) PC Pro. I also write for SC Magazine UK and Infosecurity, as well as The Times and Sunday Times newspapers. Along the way I have been honoured with a Technology Journalist of the Year award, and three Information Security Journalist of the Year awards. Most humbling, though, was the Enigma Award for 'lifetime contribution to IT security journalism' bestowed on me in 2011.

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Last Post by kim wally
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Why dont they port Evolution to windows?

Evolution is IMHO a much better app than thunderbird. Its got like 99% of the features of outlook.

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I wouldn't say that NOBODY wants Seamonkey. I know some people who will relinquish it when you pry it from their cold dead hands.

And, if Thunderbird dies, I may convert over to Seamonkey, as e-mail is still an integral part of being on the internet for me, and I really have no interest in fooling with web based e-mail clients (this is, of course, a rather subjective preference, but I am still free to have that preference :P )

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I never liked Thunderbird and now, like the article suggests, I prefer to use webmail anyhow.

I know this might sound ridiculous, but I think Seamonkey's browser is the fastest of all of them. I've compared it to FF, Opera and Konqueror and it just seems to display pages without any hesitation. It's got some inconveniences too, but in terms of browsing speed, I've found it to be an improvement on everything else.

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I think a great feature for Thunderbird would be a TBird Web Access server. That way you can store your mail on your computer but still access it via a web interface for convenience. And why not? Plenty of programs are coming out with web interfaces like eMule, uTorrent, and others.

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And it doesn't appear that much work has been done on Eudora since Qualcomm released it to Mozilla. So perhaps not strange thast Baker didn't even refer to Eudora in his comments.

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For corporate/enterprise email I prefer desktop clients over web clients mostly because desktop clients have a tendency to be more responsive. I don't like to wait for a web page to refresh every time I change the item I'm viewing.

That being said, on my Linux boxes, Evolution has become my client of choice as it is the only Linux based desktop client that I've found that will interface even close to properly with our Exchange servers. Unfortunately, it doesn't quite measure up to Outlook quite yet, but it compares well with Entourage (the email client in MS Office for Mac). I believe that Evolution has the potential to surmount its shortcomings in the relatively near future, and I would love to see it ported to Windows as an alternative to Outlook.

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Sorry to disagree with everyone else, but Thunderbird has got me out of an e-mail hole. My new pc came with Vista and i had nothing but problems with vista mail. Outlook 2000 doesn't work with Vista and I had either to look to buying a later version of MS Outlook or try Thunderbird.
The latter has been ok for me, although I admit that it has it's drawbacks. I will be sorry to lose it and have to change to Gmail or something else or move to webmail. As a relative newbie, I don't look forward to that.

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i have used tbird for years and have found it easy to use and configure.One problem i have ...
i like to leave my mail up on the server and i download it to a couple of boxes -both linux and m/sloft but i've found that i get duplicate messages which add up.I downloaded the dupicate message remover add-on and it worked fine until tbird and firefox were upgraded-now it doesn't work (script stops responding) and i've tried all the usual suggestions.i've tried the alternative one offered -again ,won't work -especially on larger folders.it works to some extent on small ones.
now i need to know either a fix or a new email client.
thanks kim

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