Mozilla Challenges Microsoft Outlook with Thunderbird 2.0

Dennis Faas's picture

Mozilla, the organization behind the popular Firefox Web browser, launched a new version of its free to download Thunderbird 2 email program, challenging Microsoft's Outlook email program.

Scott MacGregor, Lead Engineer for Thunderbird at the Mozilla Foundation noted in a written statement that the program "has powerful new features and proven security, delivering an improved email experience to users worldwide." (Source:

The Mozilla Project, which began in 1998, is dedicated to promoting Web innovation and developing open source Internet client software. Like the organization's other products, Thunderbird is developed through the open-source movement, "allowing a worldwide community of programmers to contribute to the creation of the core program and write their own add-on components that can be used to customize or personalize it." (Source:

According to the official press release on the organization's website, Thunderbird 2 offers "easy ways to manage and organize your email with message tags, advanced folder views, message history navigation, find as you type, and improved new mail alert notifications. Thunderbird 2 also includes support for Microsoft Vista and an updated user interface." (Source:

In further detail, Thunderbird 2's new features include:

  • Message Tags: Create your own tags for organizing email. Messages can be assigned any number of tags. Tags can be combined with saved searches and mail views to make it easier to organize email.
  • Visual Theme: Thunderbird 2's theme and user interface have been updated to improve usability and maximize screen real estate.
  • Session History Navigation: Back and Forward buttons allow navigation through message history.
  • Advanced Folder Views: Customize the folder pane to show favorite, unread or recent folders.
  • Easy Access to Popular Web Mail Services: Gmail and .Mac users can access their accounts in Thunderbird by simply providing their user names and passwords.
  • Improved Support For Extensions: Extensions can now add custom columns to the message list pane in addition to storing custom message data in the mail database.
  • Improved New Mail Notification Alerts: New mail alerts include information such as the subject, sender and message preview text.
  • Folder Summary Pop-ups: Mouse over a folder with new messages to see a summary of the new messages in that folder.
  • Saved Search Folder Performance: Search results for saved search folders are now cached, improving folder loading performance.
  • Find As You Type: Finds and highlights message text as you type.
  • Improved Filing Tools: Recent folder menu items for moving and copying messages to recently used folders. Move / Copy again functionality.
  • Updates to the Extension System: The extension system has been updated to provide enhanced security and to allow for easier localization of extensions.
  • New Windows Installer: Based on Nullsoft Scriptable Install System, the new Windows installer resolves many long-standing issues. (Source:

Users can download the free Thunderbird 2 email program for Windows, Mac and Linux operating systems (available in over 30 languages) on the Mozilla website:

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