Mozilla’s open source competitor to Microsoft Outlook is to be updated with a new version of Thunderbird expected next week
Mozilla has made over 2,000 improvements to Thunderbird, its open source email client, and the new version is expected to be available by as early as next week.
The rival to Microsoft Outlook will be available from this site on its release date, and is compatible with Windows, Mac OS X and open-source platforms. As with Firefox 3.1, Thunderbird 3 is built on the Gecko 1.9.1 rendering platform, lending the email platform the same security enhancements and web standards support as the Firefox browser. Also on the security front, Thunderbird will notify users of security updates and automate the download and installation process.
Features new in Thunderbird 3 include:
- Filtered Search: As with the majority of email services, Thunderbird 3 allows users to search their email for particular terms. Thunderbird’s search results page offers a variety of filters so that users can further pinpoint the exact email they need, as well as a timeline showing how often a particular search term has occurred.
- Tabbed Email: Taking a page from Firefox and other browsers, Thunderbird 3 offers the ability to load emails in separate tabs, as opposed to opening new windows, in the process reducing desktop clutter.
- One-Click Address Book: Clicking on the star icon next to incoming messages will send the email sender’s data to the address book.
- New Mail Account Setup Wizard: Mozilla has attempted to streamline the setup process by limiting the amount of information that new users will have to input. Instead of requiring that the user input IMAP, SMTP and SSL/TLS (Secure Sockets Layer/Transport Layer Security) settings, Thunderbird 3 will attempt detect those automatically.
On top of that, Thunderbird 3 will include a streamlined message archiving system, “smart folders” that allow users to view emails from multiple accounts without needing to sign into those accounts, an add-ons manager for customisation and deeper integration with Gmail.
Although Mozilla’s developers committed a considerable amount of time to Thunderbird and incorporated a good deal of user feedback into the newest version, the group is more well-known among both the tech community and the general public for its Firefox web browser.
Since its release in 2004, Firefox – now provided by Mozilla Corp, a subsidiary of the Mozilla Foundation – has expanded to become the second-most popular web browser in the United States, behind Microsoft Internet Explorer and ahead of Apple Safari and Google Chrome.
Firefox has been cited by analysts for multiple security flaws, but the organisation and its developers have generally moved quickly to issue patches in order to cover those flaws. Throughout 2009, Firefox has issued updates to plug critical security holes. At the same time, it has also worked to fix bugs cropping up in Thunderbird.