Thunderbird is finally stretching out its wings and leaving the nest. The Mozilla Foundation announced today that it has injected £1.49 million into a new, unnamed subsidiary to handle the project and focus on "innovations in the email and communications areas.
The majority of the £1.49 million will be used to build a small team of people to develop future versions of Thunderbird.
Back in July, the future of Thunderbird looked uncertain
as Mitchell Baker, CEO of Mozilla Foundation, outlined three directions that the program could head in and asked community members to leave their opinion on which one they would like to see happen.
Well, it seems that option number two was the popular choice amongst those that expressed their view.
In a new blog post, Baker outlined the goals of the new for-profit company as:
- Take care of Thunderbird users.
- Move Thunderbird forward to provide better, deeper e-mail solutions.
- Create a better user experience for a range of Internet communications — how does/should e-mail work with IM, RSS, VoIP, SMS, site-specific email, etc?
- Spark the types of community involvement and innovation that we’ve seen around web “browsing” and Firefox.
Should this new company be successful, then the presence of Thunderbird is likely to grow much in the same way Firefox's did.
As it currently stands, Thunderbird has taken a back row to its browser sibling and hasn't received quite as much attention from the internet community. A further push on the email client could take away some of the market from Microsoft's Outlook/Express offerings and webmail based clients.
Still use Thunderbird, or do you prefer Outlook or something more obscure? Drop us your thoughts in the forums