In a bit of unfortunate news for users of the Thunderbird e-mail client, a leaked Mozilla e-mail has revealed that innovation support for the project will soon cease. This decision was made due to the fact that Mozilla wants the bulk of its focus to be elsewhere, such as with a Firefox OS (or rather, it wants to focus where more $$$ can be generated). Security updates will still be delivered to the client at regular intervals, however.
Ordinarily, to see one of your favorite projects have its plug pulled is a bad thing, but Thunderbird is an interesting specimen. One thing the e-mail states is, “is Thunderbird already pretty much what its users want and mostly needs some on-going maintenance?“, and I’d have to respond, “yes”.
Let’s face it – Thunderbird 13 looks like Thunderbird 4, and for the most part, there just hasn’t been that much new to begin with. It can easily be argued that Thunderbird is at a sweet spot (or suite spot if you want to be punny about it). It’s a good client that supports the latest e-mail technologies, and because an extension architecture exists, what else does Thunderbird need?
Will Mozilla’s decision cause you to look elsewhere for a mail client, or do you consider Thunderbird to be fine right where it is? I admit that while I used to be a die-hard Thunderbird user, for about seven years, I’ve since moved over to the Web for an e-mail client, and couldn’t imagine going back to a desktop client. It’s not perfect of course, but it sure is convenient.