Modern Software Experience

2002-02-19

full disclosure: I co-sponsored the original Firefox 1.0 add in the New York Times.

Mozilla Messaging

Thunderbird

The Mozilla Foundation has started a new subsidiary, Mozilla Messaging. This is in addition to the already existing Mozilla Corporation, which exists to develop, market and distribute Mozilla products, which has been managing Thunderbird email client until now. With the introduction of this new subsidiary, messaging will get more focussed attention. The immediate goal for Mozilla Messaging is the release of Thunderbird 3.

The Mozilla Corporation manages multiple development project, but a lot of focus is on Firefox. Thunderbird is a lesser-known product that will now benefit from a separate, dedicated group of developers and probably its own marketing and promotion team.

Thunderbird 3

Mozilla Messaging hopes to release Thunderbird 3 late in 2008. The new version should include calendaring, better search, easier configuration and an improved user interface. The calendaring will be provided by integrating Lightning, a popular calendar add-on, into Thunderbird itself.

long-term goals

The really interesting question is what the long-term goals for Mozilla Messaging are. If they have any, they are not telling right now.

Obvious hopes are that they will produce an Instant Messaging client that integrates with everything, or a high-quality open source email server that can really compete with commercial offerings such as Microsoft Exchange Server. Those do seem nice mid-term goal to me, but let’s hope that Mozilla Messaging is looking further than that, and aiming for some really innovative offerings. Perhaps an email client that integrates with instant messaging protocols? After all, the name is Mozilla Messaging and not Mozilla Email.

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