Are you a long-time user of Mozilla’s free and open source desktop email client, Thunderbird? Be prepared to switch to a new client. The non-profit organization behind the popular Firefox web browser has said that it’d be cutting back on Thunderbird’s development, as it has come to “the conclusion that continued innovation on Thunderbird is not a priority for Mozilla and that the most critical needs for the product are on-going security and stability”.
Mozilla plans to keep the two existing Thunderbird versions: Thunderbird and Thunderbird ESR. A new version of Thunderbird ESR will be available on November 20 this year. It’ll have the most current Thunderbird feature set, and will be updated every six weeks to ensure the best possible security and stability.
On the other hand, a new version of Thunderbird will also be released at the same time, and will sport the same feature set as Thunderbird ESR. It too will be updated every six weeks for security and stability. The biggest difference between it and the ESR version is that the Release Drivers team will also work with module owners to integrate community contributions to the email client.
The plan is still at the refinement stage, and Mozilla is now asking for feedback from individuals and organizations. Final details should be out by this September.
So, are you one of the ‘more than 20 million’ Thunderbird users? Would this force you to turn to web-based email solutions?