'Mozilla Messaging' gives Thunderbird a boost

The mail-focused subsidiary will oversee development of Mozilla's Thunderbird email client

Mozilla is to beef up its open-source Thunderbird email client, and plans to develop its calendar and search capabilities.

To put some muscle behind the move, Mozilla on Monday launched "Mozilla Messaging", its "mail-focused subsidiary".

Mozilla Messaging will initially focus on the development of Thunderbird 3. A small product-development team, together with a community of contributors, will concentrate on integrated calendar functionality, search, easier configuration and "a set of other user interface improvements", Mozilla Messaging chief executive David Ascher wrote in a blog post.

"We're excited to renew the focus of our open-source community on the future of Thunderbird," said Ascher in a statement. "Each and every one of us is committed to building a great email product that people will love to use and that serves as the foundation for choice in a critical area of internet software."

Mozilla Messaging developers will also work on the backend architecture of Thunderbird, wrote Ascher in the blog post.

Thunderbird is built using the same open-source development model as Mozilla's Firefox web browser.