Thunderbird is Doomed!

If you like Mozilla’s E-Mail client, this is REALLY bad news!

So, That’s It For Thunderbird

“Mozilla is not ‘stopping’ Thunderbird development, it has just decided that: ‘continued innovation on Thunderbird is not the best use of our resources given our ambitious organizational goals.’ And it’s pulling people off the project. But it’s not stopping? Right.

This, according to a letter shared with ‘Mozillians’ ahead of the official announcement to be revealed on Monday. Recipients were asked not to share the letter, blog or tweet about the news until then, but obviously someone out there didn’t agree with that plan.

While it’s sure to upset some diehards, it’s a move that makes sense, given that Thunderbird, an open source Outlook competitor, is desktop software in a world that has been rapidly moving to mobile and web. Mozilla itself has been ramping up efforts in these areas as of late, with the recent introductions of its ‘boot-to-gecko’ OS (now ‘Firefox OS’), for example, as well as a new web-based code editor called Thimble, ‘Junior,’ a Webkit-based browser for iPad, its Firefox mobile web browser, of course, and more.

The timing of the Thunderbird announcement is kind of funny, though, since it was barely a month ago that Mozilla was touting the release of a new version of the software which introduced options for large file sharing and the ability to create personalized email addresses. Now, it seems that the company’s focus will be mainly on security and stability, not new features.

On Monday, the company will post details of Thunderbird’s proposed governance model here, to complement the forthcoming blog post from Mozilla Foundation Chair Mitchell Baker.

Although the letter makes it sound like the reassignments from Thunderbird to other projects would be new changes, people started moving off of Thunderbird in January. And as for any hopes that the ‘community’ of Thunderbird contributors will rise up to fill in the gaps once those folks are gone…well, don’t hold your breath on that one.”

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