Two million Thunderbirds are go

Two million Thunderbirds are go

Summary: The Mozilla Foundation's email client has been downloaded two million times, but one analyst is sceptical about its chances - and has also downplayed the excitement around Firefox

The open source email application Thunderbird 1.0 has been downloaded two million times within a month of its release, according to the Mozilla Foundation.

Mozilla employee Asa Dotzler celebrated this news in his blog on Sunday.

"That's two million people that won't be getting the next round of Outlook viruses," said Dotzler. "That's two million people who will be able to push the spam aside with Thunderbird's innovative junk-mail filters and get back to using email again rather than being abused by it. That's two million people who will have access to the new and exciting world of RSS."

Firefox, the Mozilla Foundation's browser, has already attracted considerable attention, racking up over 16 million downloads since its release in November 2004.

James Governor, an analyst from Red Monk, said that although Thunderbird will benefit from the attention around Firefox, both still have a long way to go before they achieve mass market status.

"I do think it [Thunderbird] will benefit from this groundswell around Firefox, but we shouldn't get too carried away by that groundswell," said Governor. "For all the momentum Firefox has enjoyed, it still only has a small, technically savvy, user base."

He claimed that Firefox's success among technical users has not yet translated to the corporate space.

"If you look at a lot of blogs, 50 to 60 percent of visitors are using Firefox, but this is not a broad-based enterprise phenomenon," said Governor. "I haven't spoken to any enterprises who have rolled it out end to end."

Topic: Apps

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  • I use Thunderbird at work and at home and it is superb. As the article says, the Spam filtering is so good that you go back to using email the way it was meant.

    I have converted several of my colleagues to use Thunderbird and they are all happy using it.

    Give it a try !
  • Hi James,

    You may not be talking to enough people because I know a few very large companies who are looking to deploy Mozilla solutions for both Mozilla Firefox and Thunderbird.

    And, if you don't think Firefox and Thunderbird are hitting the mainstream I'm amazed that there's 17 million tech savvy users out there. Aren't you? You'd think there'd be a handful of less savvy users in there?

  • The times, they are a changing. At my company, we integrate a product made in our Taiwan office, works great with IE (The web portal and javascript OA&M interface). Being part of the interface to a telecom product, and all telco's are security extremists, lab trials failed because neither Mozilla or Firefox or Netscape, the ONLY ACCEPTABLE AND ALLOWED BROWSERs in the production environment (i.e. critical security areas running UNIX or Linux only, you don't find a lot of Windows in telcom offices), didn't work. The reason, relying on IE's MIME sniffer (or rather automatic virus propagation feature) the coder's got lazy in the javascript. Guess what, within 2 weeks, everything was tightened up, Firefox works great, and the customer is deploying the product. Amazing too, I told them for months it didn't work except with IE, they too scoffed, who cares, IE rules.

    Something else to keep in mind, if there are 16M downloads of Firefox and 2M downloads of Thunderbird, then there are at least 32M firefox users and 4M thunderbird users because, like me, it came packaged with my distro, so I didn't download them.

  • Times are changing. iWork, Macmini and Firefox are at the forefront of competition against Microsoft and they won't be ignored forever. Also when looking at Firefox download counts you have to think about people who carry the portable versions of Firefox, Thunderbird and Sunbird on their memory sticks ready to install onto machines of less tech-savvy people.
  • Thunderbird works on a daily basis for me. OK, I'm only dealing with 100-200 emails, but Thunderbird has proven itself. The best part is, it will only get better.
  • Here's a little $100m company that uses Firefox exclusively. Adios, MS!
  • I've sent y'all an email but for the benefit of Joe Public, the vast majority of my TB adopters are not techies. They're ordinary people who want things to Just Work(tm) and do that safely.