Mozilla to put Thunderbird out to pasture?

Mozilla to put Thunderbird out to pasture?

The blue wedges, representing Thunderbird, could soon be a thing of the past as the future of Mozilla's email client is called into question.

Well, I'll admit that I'm a little annoyed at the news that the CEO of Mozilla is calling the future of Thunderbird into question. I had after all only just discovered the beauty of the Mozilla email client and spent a fair deal of time setting it up in Vista recently after my address book was lost in the OS transition.

Ah well.

In a public post on her blog, Mitchell Baker, the CEO of the Mozilla Foundation has outlined the possible futures for Thunderbird. Apparently, Thunderbird has been "dwarfed by the enormous energy and community focused on the web, Firefox and the ecosystem around it."

Mozilla is thus presented with the choice of what to do with the popular email service and, is unable to decide without community backing, have given users three options to comment on in an effort to rally support.

The options are as follows;

Option 1: Create a new non-profit organisation to be called the Thunderbird Foundation. This would give Thunderbird maximum independence and renewed focus, but would be complex and impossible to support as Thunderbird may not be able to generate enough money to cover its overheads.

Option 2: "Create a new subsidiary of the Mozilla Foundation for Thunderbird." The worry here is that nothing would change as the focus of the Mozilla Foundation would still be on Firefox and not on Thunderbird.

Option 3: Release Thunderbird as a community project, similar to SeaMonkey with a new consultancy company formed from developers to care for users and continue development. This is the option which Mitchell herself is most enthusiastic about, though she is worried at how difficult it may be to maintain with a non-profit status.

Personally, I'd vote for number two - but then again, I fear change.

As mentioned previously, the idea behind the three options is to give users like yourselves the chance to submit opinions and comments. You can do so either at Mitchell's blog, or you can discuss it further in the bit-tech forums.


Discuss in the forums Reply
Spacecowboy92 27th July 2007, 16:56 Quote
Intrested to see what happens. I use thunderbird and would go for option three as long as people will support it.
The_Pope 27th July 2007, 17:09 Quote
Oh FFS. I too have only *just* switched - I pray this isn't true / nothing changes :(
DougEdey 27th July 2007, 17:13 Quote
I hope they support it better. the differences between Windows Thunderbird and *nix thunderbird is HUGE.
Jamie 27th July 2007, 17:16 Quote
Originally Posted by The_Pope
Oh FFS. I too have only *just* switched - I pray this isn't true / nothing changes :(

RTT 27th July 2007, 17:22 Quote
Originally Posted by The_Pope
Oh FFS. I too have only *just* switched - I pray this isn't true / nothing changes :(

antiHero 27th July 2007, 17:26 Quote
Would be sad if TB dies as its my favourite client. Support has been a bit laggy but with v.2 it became better. I hope for the best!
pumpman 27th July 2007, 17:29 Quote
"beavis and butthead snigger " you prefer a number 2

I use TB and like it.
Tim S 27th July 2007, 18:00 Quote
Originally Posted by The_Pope
Oh FFS. I too have only *just* switched - I pray this isn't true / nothing changes :(

Poor Jerry.
Firehed 27th July 2007, 18:36 Quote
It better not die, that's all I can say. I can't really use it as a substitute for on my Mac (well, maybe I can now since I got IMAP set up) due to syncing with my iPhone and address book, but I love it as a Windows mail client.
DXR_13KE 27th July 2007, 18:45 Quote
there are a lot of people that use this..... they will be very sad.
DougEdey 27th July 2007, 19:26 Quote
I love the way I can use the same profile on my Windows machine and my Linux box at the same time :(
GoodBytes 27th July 2007, 20:32 Quote
I've been using Thunderbird for so much time... I love it so very very much!
David_Fitzy 27th July 2007, 21:48 Quote
1 Vote for option 3. I've used it ever since I got Firefox v1 and saw the Thunderbird link. I hate to think that Thunderbird dies while 3D Mail lives on. (in posting this I've discovered that firefox spell check doesn't have firefox or thunderbird in it's dictionary)
Duste 27th July 2007, 23:56 Quote
I've been using Mozilla Thunderbird for ages. It took me long enough to convince my parents to stop using Outlook and use Thunderbird, and now Mozilla are doing this to me/us? :(

Personally, I'm the same with Joe; I too would go with option 2. Why can't Mozilla just focus on both projects? Two products of equal importance?
Xen0phobiak 28th July 2007, 16:05 Quote
You're all going on as though thunderbird is going to stop working overnight, like a giant killswitch. Cheer up :).
completemadness 28th July 2007, 18:35 Quote
Ive been using thunderbird for about 4 months now i think, after switching from outlook

I do quite like it, probably more then Outlook, but why has it received so little attention :'(
Hack'n'Slash 28th July 2007, 19:39 Quote
lol, I'm still using version 1.0.7, I think it might be time to update. :o

I guess that even if it does die a death, the last release will still last me a fair while. It would be a great shame if it did though, it's the only mail client I've used (and recommended) in many years.
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