Will Mozilla set Thunderbird free?

Will Mozilla set Thunderbird free?

Summary: It appears that Mozilla may be setting the Thunderbird project free so it can develop more rapidly on its own. Mozilla has been supporting Thunderbird since its inception.

TOPICS: Browser

It appears that Mozilla may be setting the Thunderbird project free so it can develop more rapidly on its own.

Mozilla has been supporting Thunderbird since its inception. That effort has delivered some promising results, but Mozilla is mostly focused on Firefox.

In a blog post, Mozilla chairman Mitchell Baker said:

The Thunderbird effort is dwarfed by the enormous energy and community focused on the web, Firefox and the ecosystem around it. As a result, Mozilla doesn't focus on Thunderbird as much as we do browsing and Firefox and we don't expect this to change in the foreseeable future. We are convinced that our current focus - delivering the web, mostly through browsing and related services - is the correct priority. At the same time, the Thunderbird team is extremely dedicated and competent, and we all want to see them do as much as possible with Thunderbird.

Baker's conclusion: Thunderbird needs a new home so it can develop its own community. Among the options Baker tossed out there:

  • Create a new non-profit entity just for Thunderbird. This would be modeled after Mozilla.
  • Create a Thunderbird subsidiary within Mozilla. The benefit to this would be less overhead.
  • Release Thunderbird into a community project like SeaMonkey.

Baker noted that Mozilla doesn't have the answers yet. She's looking for feedback. Scott MacGregor has more.

Topic: Browser

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Sounds like a good idea to me. The two projects are not sufficiently

    related to justify the management distraction. I say better let the important Thunderbird decisions be made by an independent entity.
  • Like document standards, two

    open source browers aren't needed. ;-)
    • There is a HUGE difference between a standard, and an implementation of a

      standard. Competition amongst open source projects can actually be very healthy, when it is based on a single standard.

      And, in case you did not know, Thunderbird is NOT a browser!!!
      • Dude, I'm jerking yer chain...

        Thanks for playing. ;-)
        • Sounds like you had no clue, make a ridiculous post, and are trying to


          You are just making a fool out of yourself.
          • Like I said...

            Thanks for playing. Man are yoiu easy...
          • You are no Mike Cox. He at least has a little style.

            Come on, go to wikipedia and see if you can figure out what Thunderbird is.
    • Wow

      Um, thunderbird is an email application.
      Patrick Jones
      • He also does not understand the difference betweeb a standard and

        an implementation thereof.
    • Since Thunderbird is not a browser...

      Which open source browsers are you talking about? Or are you talking about e-mail clients? When you figure it out, get back to me.

      As far as document standards go, you're quite right. MS's incredibly flawed standard isn't needed, and should never have been.
  • There needs to be another browser

    I would call it "Voyeur"

    It will have all the features of other browsers, but better.
    It will have full drag-and-drop mashup functionality. This way people don't need to do anything with code, you simply identify the apis you want to include and hit the genie button. A mashup will appear, and if you don't like it then you can hit the button again. However, after 3 clicks you will either need to re-install via a new download (makes it more popular), or pay a small fee like $1 for another 3 clicks.

    If you choose not to create mashups the you can simply enjoy the browser. There would also be a hardware component you can order that would interface directly with the computer's hardware which will allow it to run without the OS. Such a setup would allow remote startup and interaction should you need to retrieve something off the harddrive, etc. This capability would also allow those without much extra disk space to comb the web and look for alternative storage locations.

    There are literally hundreds of sites that allow you to upload data to their site...this browser would use this extra storage capacity and allow you to setup a virtual disk on the web. This way you can simply have a flashed OS and a virtual web disk...what could be more simple.

    It would also detect people trying to send you email and nullify their email at their local site by examining the content and auto-deleting it if the content was garbage...pretty cool.
  • Good e-mail client, hope it doesn't get lost

    I like Thunderbird, and hope that whatever is decided, that it continues to be the reliable, quality product it is now.
    • I think it will be better off as a seperate entity. They just want to make

      sure that the management at Mozilla can give their full and undivided attention to FireFox. Thunderbird will be better off with separate management.
  • I really love Thunderbird...

    ...and I hope they it does not get abandoned or anything. I have changed over most all of our systems here from outlook express to thunderbird. Thunderbird has been superior in every way, and its junk mail protection works very very well.
  • Definitely a positive move to independence

    I think this is a good decision as it allows it the independent freedom to work, develop and focus without outside influence to hold it back. It seems like there are too many corporations and businesses that end up with the right hand not knowing what the left is doing or why ? This being the case they would benefit everyone concerned if they were allowed to have an independent operation with no influence from other internal operations. Chaos and murphy's law comes into play, mistakes get made, errors pile up and overall moral for those working with it hits a slippery slope to a bad work environment. This is just my opinion based on observation of similar situations.
  • Google told Mozilla to get rid of Thunderbird.

    Or their funds will be cut back. Thunderbird competes with gmail and they don't even know it. There are some folks that are happy with their privacy on the TBird that just will not budge. So Mozilla got the order from the cloud to bag that SOB or else. Firefox is slowly becoming a Google browser. Everything is Google this or that on a default install. Makes you wonder who is running Mozilla these days.
    • Thunderbird is good for Google, as it reduces the dependencies on

      Windows. With or without Thunderbird, there will be quite a few that want their email sitting on the hard disk, under their control.

      Thunderbird is taking market from Outlook and other desktop email programs, NOT GMail.
      • That is why it was ported to Windows. Try again.

        Like me. I use SeaMonkey for it is integrated and quicker to setup.

        Some from them but it hammers the mailbox in the cloud also. Especially from the privacy folks.
        • Why its ported to Windows.....

          "That is why it was ported to Windows. Try again."<br><br> It's ported to Windows to get people using it. The great part about Firefox and Thunderbird is it's portability.<br> I learned when I took the jump from Windows to Linux that I could easily take all of my Firefox bookmarks, settings, most of my plug-ins, and add-ons with me as was also the case of moving all of my e-mail folders address book(s) and all to their new home. With it's level of portablity I can use any OS and still carry my same settings and e-mail with me. No hassles of conversion that looses half the formatting or anything just a smooth and easy transition moving a folder or two and telling it to use them as default.<br>When I have clients inquire about Linux I often tell them if their not using Thunderbird to install it and use it instead of Outlook Express/Windows Mail, Eudora or whatever their using so when the time comes they can take all their e-mail with them easily.
          • Another Side Effect.

            Why move to Linux? With Mozilla products you don't have to, to enjoy safe surfing. We all know that IE isn't as safe and is always under attack due to it being the main target of javascript holes even though Mozilla has their's also. Also the javascript is more tunable. I have programs that do not run under Linux and yes, I don't mind checking out Ubuntu.

            Actually Mozilla has probably prevented some migrations to Linux and if they had mad a limited version to run on Windows as a teaser, they probably would have gotten more converts except for folks like me with AutoCAD. But then you guys need lessons in marketing.

            I have been using the Zilla code since 1995 and the monopoly has never been able to force me from abandoning it. I mainly used it because of its features you mentioned and for safer surfing and some mods from plugins. Never a stepping stone to Linux.