The first Thunderbird 3 Alpha release, codenamed Shredder, looks pretty smart - but beware the bugs.
If you're looking for an e-mail client to match your Firefox 3 Beta 5 installation, then say hello to Shredder Alpha 1.
Shredder Alpha 1 is the first preview of what will eventually become Thunderbird 3. Built on top of the same layout engine Mozilla uses for Firefox 3, Gecko 1.9, the next-generation message client promises a fresh look and some snazzy new features.
First among them is an in-built Add-ons Manager, which allows – you guessed it – easy browsing and installation of Thunderbird extensions. While this is a pretty neat feature, you'll be hard pushed to get any use out of it at the moment – very few add-ons have been updated to work with Shredder.
Mac users can enjoy the benefits of Shredder being a native Cocoa application, and the ability to read contact information from Mac OS X's built-in Address Book – although this is disabled by default
All these improvements do come at a cost, however: Shredder Alpha 1 doesn't support any version of Windows prior to Windows 2000. Nor does it work with Mac OS versions prior to Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger.
Even if your operating system is
supported, it's still not all plain sailing – remember that Shredder is not only still in the alpha stage of development, but is in its first
Alpha release. Do not
install this release in a production environment, and don't use it as your main e-mail client. Seriously.
That said, if you're desperate
to see how the next generation of Thunderbird is shaping up, you can grab the installer for Shredder Alpha 1 for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux at the Mozilla Messaging
Is anyone going to trust their important communications to an alpha build, or are you sticking with Thunderbird 2 for now? Do you use a completely different application for e-mail? Share your thoughts over in the forums