Mozilla wants to drop Thunderbird

Martin Brinkmann
Dec 1, 2015
Email, Thunderbird

For years, Mozilla developed and maintained not only the Firefox web browser but also the Thunderbird email client.

Both products were received well when they were first released and both managed to attract millions of users who use the products on a daily basis.

Mozilla some time ago announced that it would remove staff from the Thunderbird project and hand over core development tasks to the community instead.

That was back in 2012, and for the most part since then, Thunderbird releases were nothing more than an assortment of bug and security fixes.

Today it appears as if Mozilla wants to cut the tie completely. Mozilla chairwoman Mitchell Baker revealed recently that Mozilla would like to drop Thunderbird completely.

Mozilla engineers pay a tax to support Thunderbird according to Baker while Thunderbird developers spend time making sure changes in the underlying architecture that both programs use work fine in Thunderbird.

Baker mentioned that the "overwhelming majority" of Mozilla's leadership believes that Mozilla should focus only on activities that "can have an industry-wide impact", and that she thinks that Thunderbird does not fall into that category.

That does not mean that Thunderbird as a product will cease to exist. While Baker has no answer yet on how a transition would look like, and when it will happen, she seems certain that it will happen.

Mozilla plans to provide the Thunderbird team with financial and legal help, as well as other resources required to separate the project from Mozilla.

Mark Surman of the Mozilla Foundation and I are both interested in
helping find a way for Thunderbird to separate from Mozilla
infrastructure. We also want to make sure that Thunderbird has the right
kind of legal and financial home, one that will help the community

Basically, what Mozilla wants is to hand over Thunderbird to free up resources, and to use those resources for Firefox and other projects that it believes have a wider impact on the Internet and technology.

Thunderbird is not mentioned in Mozilla's 2014 audited financials report. It is unclear how much Mozilla spends on Thunderbird because of it.

While this could very well be the beginning of the end of Thunderbird, it could very well be a chance as well depending on the separation, community interest and other factors.

It is unclear if the Thunderbird project can generate enough money to keep the project going. According to Mark Surman, Mozilla seems to be in talks with organizations who may be interested in supporting development and infrastructure, and is considering adding user donation options on top of that.

Now You: Good move or bad, what is your take on this?

Mozilla wants to drop Thunderbird
Article Name
Mozilla wants to drop Thunderbird
Mozilla's chairwoman Mitchell Baker announced yesterday that Mozilla wants to drop Thunderbird completely.

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  1. Stick said on April 28, 2017 at 9:14 am

    Unfortunately we’re getting very close to the time when Mozilla won’t really have a choice – Thunderbird development will cease because many of the libraries it depends on are either being deprecated or have been abandoned long ago and are now starting to fail.

    This is such a shame, as Thunderbird is by far the best email client out there if you’re concerned about things like privacy (which, in light of the numerous leaks over the last few years, is something to be concerned about).

    One of the killer plugins for me is Enigmail. I’m a Linux user, I often have to email security firms who all use PGP encryption.

    The other reason why I absolutely love Thunderbird is for its configurability. I have my own userChrome.css in ~/.thunderbird/aaaaaaaa.default/chrome directory, and I have just added a little more space between lines in the “thread pane” and “folder tree”.

    It will be a very sad day when Thunderbird is discontinued or, worse still, just stops working one day because of some library problem.

  2. Curls said on July 11, 2016 at 6:08 pm

    Love Thunderbird. Sure it has it’s problems, but it does much more than other clients… with a lot less headache. Folks bought Macs, and I regularly consider switching them to TB because I’m tired of trying to fix or help them solve function lacking in the Macmail. Same with other email clients.

    As for email being a solved problem. Sure we have email and basic functions. But inventiveness can create a lot more. I can think of several TB features I’d like, and my try to create add-ons for. They aren’t in other clients either, but it’s limited site to claim any task still being used, can be improved and more invented for it.

    So I sure hope TB sticks around, and it given resources. It works!

  3. The Fixer said on April 23, 2016 at 5:52 pm

    Mozilla wants to dump Thunderbird, which is widely regarded as “best in class” ? Have they got rocks in their collective heads over there at Mozilla hq?? Thunderbird has to be best of breed by any rational assessment. I have been using TB since version 3, nothing comes close! I once had the job of extracting a lot of email from incredifail and was only saved from a near death experience by reynardware. Never again! Now Mozilla wants to let go arguably the best email client on the market! Is there a new way of running successful business by deleting your best products that I haven’t heard about?? In a list of pros and cons of Thunderbird the only con listed was “subsequent development of new features will soon be stopped by Mozilla” So, Mozilla, why exactly do you want to kill arguably the world’s best email client?????

  4. said on February 14, 2016 at 2:38 am

    I discovered thunderbird with Firefox and for me are inseparable. If it falls Thunderbird I see no reason not to switch to Chrome.

  5. Nik said on December 20, 2015 at 2:38 pm

    Noooo! I believe that Thunderbird is a marvelous mail client. I mean it has the whole package. It’s expendable, has all the features from other clients and even more, it’s fast, it’s open source.
    I have been using it for more then 10 years and I am completely satisfied with it.
    Thunderbird also is translated in most languages which is great.
    If Mozilla wants to free resources then they should search for another company to continue the Thunderbird project.

  6. Mozilla Mozzarella Gotohella said on December 20, 2015 at 10:00 am

    Our dearly beloved Thunderbird lies on his deathbed

    R.I.P. and come back to a new life in “Fossa Mail”

  7. Mike Corbeil said on December 20, 2015 at 3:44 am


    Your Google link is no good. When I try to load it in a separate tab, I get the following result:

    What that provides is a plain Google search page and no links whatsoever, except for what’s normally found in the default Google search engine page.

    I also tried general Web searches using “Sebastien Taveau”, MOSO and Thunderbird for search terms, including a search excluding the word “Thunderbird”, but get no links for any obvious matches. So, you might find it better to get accurate links.

    He apparently also works for Mastercard and that certainly isn’t inspirational for me.

    1. Bann said on December 20, 2015 at 7:22 am

      Hello Mike.
      The URLs work fine and are accurate.
      I went to this blog URL, and clicked the google link from each of FF, IE, Chrome. All opened the page without problems. That was using WIn7x64Pro.
      So then I tried an WinXP system. Works fine. Then I tried from an Android 4.4 phone. Works fine. Then I tried from a Linux Mint box. Works fine.
      All bring up the same google search of ~15000 (google’s claim) results (not to say they are all meaningful – but I looked at the first 2 pages of 100 results each and there were still valid results at the 200 mark.
      Perhaps your system is not working correctly.

      Yes, in the last year or so he started at MC. Good that a credit card company wants to hire security experts with as long an excellent track record as his.

  8. Mike Corbeil said on December 20, 2015 at 3:08 am


    Quote: “Look at Linux. Still around since Unix started in teh 70s”.

    Linux has began in 1991 as a computer science project of Linus Torvalds, but this was only the kernel, which apparently means that Linux wasn’t, at this time, an operating system. That’s my present understanding from the page for “History of Linux” at Wikipedia says, but maybe I’m misinterpreting what the text says. Unix, however, was created in 1969 and first released in 1970, so 21 years earlier; and it was, at that time, an operating system.

    History of Linux

    The history of Linux began in 1991 with the commencement of a personal project by Finnish student Linus Torvalds to create a new free operating system kernel. Since then, the resulting Linux kernel has been marked by constant growth throughout its history. Since the initial release of its source code in 1991, it has grown from a small number of C files under a license prohibiting commercial distribution to the 4.2.3 version in 2015 with more than 18 million lines of source code under the GNU General Public License.[1](p7)

    Events leading to creation

    After AT&T had dropped out of the Multics project, the Unix operating system was conceived and implemented by Ken Thompson and Dennis Ritchie (both of AT&T Bell Laboratories) in 1969 and first released in 1970. Later they rewrote it in a new programming language, C, to make it portable. …

    MINIX, a Unix-like system intended for academic use, was released by Andrew S. Tanenbaum to exemplify the principles conveyed in his textbook, Operating Systems: Design and Implementation in 1987. While source code for the system was available, modification and redistribution were restricted. In addition, MINIX’s 16-bit design was not well adapted to the 32-bit features of the increasingly cheap and popular Intel 386 architecture for personal computers. In the early nineties a commercial UNIX operating system for Intel 386 PCs was too expensive for private users.[7]

    The creation of Linux

    In 1991, in Helsinki, Linus Torvalds began a project that later became the Linux kernel. He wrote the program specifically for the hardware he was using and independent of an operating system because he wanted to use the functions of his new PC with an 80386 processor. Development was done on MINIX using the GNU C compiler. The GNU C Compiler is still the main choice for compiling Linux today. The code however, can be built with other compilers, such as the Intel C Compiler.


    Linux under the GNU GPL

    Torvalds first published the Linux kernel under its own licence, which had a restriction on commercial activity.

    The software to use with the kernel was software developed as part of the GNU project licensed under the GNU General Public License, a free software license. The first release of the Linux kernel, Linux 0.01, included a binary of GNU’s Bash shell.[14]

    In the “Notes for linux release 0.01”, Torvalds lists the GNU software that is required to run Linux:[14]

    “Sadly, a kernel by itself gets you nowhere. To get a working system you need a shell, compilers, a library etc. These are separate parts and may be under a stricter (or even looser) copyright. Most of the tools used with linux are GNU software and are under the GNU copyleft. These tools aren’t in the distribution – ask me (or GNU) for more info.”[14]

    In 1992, he suggested releasing the kernel under the GNU General Public License. He first announced this decision in the release notes of version 0.12.[15] In the middle of December 1992 he published version 0.99 using the GNU GPL.[16]

    Linux and GNU developers worked to integrate GNU components with Linux to make a fully functional and free operating system.[17]

    Torvalds has stated, “making Linux GPL’d was definitely the best thing I ever did.”[18]

    End quote

    So, it also seems that Linux didn’t become an operating system until 1992.

    Still, whether we consider the creation of Unix as an OS in 1969 or Linux becoming an OS in 1992, both have now been around for quite a long time.

    From what I recall having read about the creation of Linux, as of when it became an OS anyway, it isn’t a UNIX but was based on UNIX. I’m not sure if it was AT&T’s UNIX or BSD Unix that was created by UC Berkeley though.

    This, however, isn’t to argue against your opinion regarding not wanting “fancy” changes made to software applications that were already sufficient for the needs and wants of many users who were satisfied with what earlier versions of the software provided. After all, I’m of the same opinion even if I’m single. Unless I really can and will benefit from new changes to a user interface, then all that’s important to me is security-based updates, which of course are important for Web browsers and e-mail applications; and, of course, most definitely for operating systems.

    If I don’t need new features with user interface changes that require time for learning things I don’t need, then I prefer to work with prior versions of the software when I already knew them and they satisfied my needs. Even if I’m single, and I graduated in computer science (BSc), plus worked for 10 years as a software and software systems programmer, as well as software designer, I don’t care for changes that I don’t have any need for. If some people have difficulty finding a way to live a real life, besides always being so addicted to new “fads”, as you call them, then let them have their fun; but, I’m not part of that category or segment of the population.

    I did get angry, at first, with some changes that occurred after the Firefox 2.x series of releases. I tried Firefox 3 when it came out and uninstalled it in order to go back to 2.x, which I think to recall got to 2.22. But, I decided to give 3 another try when 3.3 came out and haven’t stopped updating or upgrading Firefox every since whenever a new release is available; always keeping the application up to do. After becoming accustomed to 3.3, constantly applying the updates has never been a problem. And some, if not many of the updates, are security kind, so I consider this to be surely important.

    Thunderbird’s interface has always been very satisfactory for me. I tried what I believe to recall was Eudora e-mail reader back in the second half of the 1990s and don’t recall disliking it for any reason; but, I was using the Netscape suite (Web browser, etc) at the time, and this was sufficient, so I ceased using Eudora. Eventually, Mozilla took over Netscape after the company or organization that created Netscape ceased, so I switched to Mozilla’s similar suite of Internet apps. I gave Opera a try for e-mail, but decided to stick with Mozilla for this and just had Opera installed for a second Web browser for when there’re problems loading Web pages in Firefox. Opera often turned out useful in the latter respect, but it’s also happened that neither of the two browsers properly loaded Web pages, as well.

    It can be very useful to have more than one good Web browser installed, but for e-mail readers? Not imo. For e-mail readers, the Mozilla suite was definitely adequate for me and it’s the same with Thunderbird.

    It might not be a perfect or good analogy, given that some people have needs that I don’t have, but there’s a computer science principle called KISS, “Keep It Simple, Stupid!”. It definitely applies with programming software, but I think it’s fair to say that it also applies to software design.

    Etc, and I hope this post isn’t too long.

  9. Bruzote said on December 19, 2015 at 7:34 pm

    i use Thunderbird for continuity of usability, continuity of support, and for control of my messages.

    Commercial email providers are much less beholden to their user community. A single executive can decide he wants to make a mark, then suddenly and radically your email application can change appearance so you end up lost in your own application. Reference Outlook if you don’t know what I mean. Not all of us want to keep relearning how to use an email client when email is an established technology with no need for radical redesigns. I’m not a tech fanboy who gets excited at spending time learning new features when I could be out on the town with my wife. Users like me prefer steady configurations over abrupt fads that eat up my time.

    I like that my email will be around in ten years (at least so I thought). Look at Linux. Still around since Unix started in teh 70s. Commercial systems don’t give you continuity. Thunderbird was supposed to offer that. I’m disappointed to hear that the glitz and excitement of change is what matters to Mozilla, not giving people basic reliable communication options that can shut down on a company’s whim.

    Finally, i like being able to control my messages by downloading them. For now, IMAP is pretty usable around the web. I don’t expect that to continue. In a world where companies monetize US, they will eventually stop letting us store our messages and they will control them. DId you see how the Pharma Bro jacked up prices on a basic drug, surely leading to some patient deaths. Don’t think companies won’t suddenly charge you for email and then you’ll wish you had your emails in your own storage space. By then, it will be too late.

  10. Bann said on December 17, 2015 at 12:28 pm

    I remember Sebastien Taveau speaking at a MOSO conference about how Thunderbird was used by the French military and was the only email client that was OK’d for NATO use. Outlook sure wasn’t.

    Up til 2010 version, Outlook doesn’t even properly at all support IMAP. Outlook has made some improvements in 2013 version, but is still no where near Tbird.

    So, please Mozilla, focus on FF and Tbird and only do ‘other stuff’ if you have time. We need secure, proven email clients.

    Now, Sebastien he speaks with authority, having worked with French military, iirc.

  11. Mark B said on December 15, 2015 at 3:45 pm

    I use Thunderbird every day and I really like it. I would be sorry to see it disappear. Maybe some kind soul would take over its development.

  12. Jacob Lageveen said on December 15, 2015 at 4:28 am

    Thunderbird was a fail because it never caught the attention of the big public. A great tool nevertheless.

  13. Paul Littlefield said on December 11, 2015 at 9:57 am

    Further to my comment above, I believe that if Mozilla asked for Donations (just like any other non-profit organisation does) then all Thunderbird users would happily give what they could, so that development on this fantastic software could continue as it should. Where do I sign up? Put me down for $10 for starters.

  14. David said on December 10, 2015 at 8:46 pm

    What seems to be true (and “dropping” TB is not) is that Mozilla needs a dedicated group to fund the software and is looking at setting it up so that donations may be made. Mozilla *may* eventually give the source away to a new home, but the present direction is to fund a small core group of developers to continue maintenance throughout 2016 and start getting paid for this work. Sounds fair to me. With 10M users and no Open Source mail client of comparable quality Thunderbird isn’t going to simply disappear.

    1. Mike Corbeil said on December 12, 2015 at 10:28 am

      “Thunderbird Usage Continues to Grow”, Feb. 27, 2015


      Mozilla measures program usage by Active Daily Installations (ADI), which is the number of pings that Mozilla servers receive as installations do their daily plugin block-list update. This is not the same as the number of active users, since some users don’t access their program each day, and some installations are behind firewalls. An estimate of active monthly users is typically done by multiplying the ADI by a factor of 3.

      End quote

      Your 10M is clearly far off for total number of TB users. I used it for over a decade and never used the daily plugin block-list, certainly not knowingly anyway. This is the first time that I’ve read or heard of that block-list feature.

      And it’d be interesting to get the stats on how many people use personal computers, are connected to or make use of the Internet and use related apps., how many people use MSIE, vs TB, Opera, and other alternatives, including to always access their e-mail using a Web browser, etc.

      10M is one very limited estimate of how many people use TB.

      Some people might not be able to afford to pay for all of this luxury but might make some use of it at public libraries and you might then have e-mail apps. Though you don’t want to retrieve any e-mail to have it saved on the local hdd of any machine that isn’t your own, you could tell the app to not do this and to just show you the e-mail’s content. I never did that so don’t know that it can be done. It’s a hypothethical example. But, sure, you can use a Web browser anywhere to access your Yahoo (yuck), Gmail, etc, for then there definitely is no retreival of e-mail; being able to read it, delete it on/from the ISP server, but not retrieving it, not like I’ve always done with TB anyway. That’s without saying that you couldn’t save copies of e-mails, for we can certainly do that.

    2. Mike Corbeil said on December 12, 2015 at 8:50 am

      David, are there only 10mn users of Thunderbird? I would’ve imagined that there’re far more, internationally. You might have 10mn (really a little more, maybe even double) for total population in all of New England, USA, but there’re far more people in metro-NY than there are in NE, as well. Metro. NY includes southern NE, but still, this doesn’t include all of NY state, which isn’t part of NE, and then there’s the rest of the USA, the total of which is estimated to have a population of around 322 million.

      You’re trying to say that Thunderbird has only 10 million users, worldwide? Maybe you’re right and the reason is “beyond me”, but it doesn’t strike me as credible.

      Your 10M figure is awfully odd.

  15. Paul Littlefield said on December 8, 2015 at 4:04 pm

    No, no, no, no! Mozilla, please do not drop Thunderbird. It is without doubt my most used piece of software. It is the perfect email client. I have been using it for over 10 years and it has not lost a single email message. As a Linux Systems Administrator I have recommended it to all of my clients. It handles IMAP beautifully. It is loved by those who use it. Mozilla, please do not drop Thunderbird.

    1. Dentonthebear said on December 8, 2015 at 6:48 pm

      Hear hear.

  16. Dentonthebear said on December 8, 2015 at 4:04 pm

    If Mozilla put some effort in to developing Group Policy/Windows Domain support then there be loads of people dropping Outlook in preference of Thunderbird.

  17. M&M said on December 4, 2015 at 9:35 pm
    1. Dentonthebear said on December 8, 2015 at 3:34 pm

      Sadly development on Eudora was dropped by Qualcomm years ago.

      However another company else did take on the code with the intention of rolling it in to their own email client. That other company was Mozilla:

      Eudora is still a great client but it is hideously out of date, and does not have a Linux version.

  18. Patrick said on December 3, 2015 at 11:52 pm

    After TB I will go back to snail-mail. The Post Office will be hiring at $50. an hour and the economy will blossom.

  19. b003 said on December 3, 2015 at 10:18 pm

    Off to SeamonKey I guess.

  20. b003 said on December 3, 2015 at 10:03 pm

    I hate this, used opera mail when it was intergrated they dropped it, used the MSN clinet they dropped it for outlook. I could always rely on thunderbird. I like keping my emails on my compter and not on the web. Off to Seamoney I guess.

  21. Tomaku said on December 3, 2015 at 2:43 am

    Protonmail ftw.

    1. Dentonthebear said on December 8, 2015 at 4:02 pm

      It’s web based so not a win.

  22. Jozsef said on December 2, 2015 at 5:52 pm

    There is a factor that Mozilla completely ignores in their world of pseudo-scientific quantification. I refer to the notion that if few people use something, it’s not worth bothering with. Hardly any of my customers have heard of Firefox or email clients these days and depend on me to offer alternatives to default applications. It was clear in 1995 that Linux would become a force because experts were using it at home and when OS X appeared in 2000, Apple was obviously destined for greatness because computer guys and gals would buy and recommend their devices. By removing the appeal to power users and enthusiasts, Mozilla have cut out their base of informed and respected expert users who are the ultimate shapers of opinion in such matters. Sure, average people can be reached when a famous brand pushes something, as we see in the success of Google Chrome which deliberately violates basic tenets of UI design by hiding or eliminating controls in favor of looking uncomplicated and uncluttered.

    By focusing exclusively on repeating Google’s questionable choices, Mozilla is making itself irrelevant because nobody needs another Chrome or a better Chrome. For this single-minded devotion to embracing the dustbin of history, they’re going toss Thunderbird aside because mere excellence without being the most popular has no relevance to them. Since TB is crude and awkward to use in significant ways compared to Eudora 7, I would not say that it is finished and feature complete.

    On the upside, a vacuum will not last too long before someone steps in to fill it so if TB is not looked after then eventually a replacement will likely emerge. By revealing that their directors are all on board with the present direction, Moz has told us it’s safe to shed a tear and write them off. How very sad.

  23. Dan said on December 2, 2015 at 3:59 pm

    It’s funny that a non-profit foundation that declares operating revenues over 300 million dollars and proudly claims that it is powered by Mozillian volunteers from all over the planet, suddenly finds out that it cannot help a product that is essentially feature-complete, and only needs security updates when a vulnerability is found.

    Ok ok, so it pays its full-time programmers (it seems that Mozillians can’t make a good browsers without the help of paid developers) but still, it was able to haul about 36 million dollars in profit in 2013. It seems its not enough since they want to increase their profit still by dropping TBird. With similar code bases between it and Firefox, and TBird needing only minimal maintenance and no new features, I can’t understand how much it taxes a very profitable “non-profit”. Is the 197 million dollars spent on non-volunteer developers not enough?

  24. kalmly said on December 2, 2015 at 3:18 pm

    I’ve used TB for . . . forever. My most important and most personal email comes thru a POP3 account and downloads to Thunderbird. I keep two online email accounts for website and forum use. I don’t ask a whole lot from an email app, so care not a whit about bells and whistles. I will be SO sorry to see it disappear.

  25. M&M said on December 2, 2015 at 2:35 pm

    I’m a Eudora fan from way back long before Qualcomm dropped it and moved on to hardware. I tried to like it’s poor cousin Thunderbird but it somehow was just not the same, lacking most of the features of Eudora which after all these years has never been beaten for its feature rich attributes.

    By the way after a bit of tweaking it works fine on Windows 10!


  26. Bill Blagger said on December 2, 2015 at 11:38 am

    I understand Seamonkey Mail is similar to TB, could it live on in Seamonkey, as Kompozer/Composer does?

  27. Denton the bear said on December 2, 2015 at 11:27 am

    I have a client running Thunderbird on approximately twenty five plus desktop and laptops spread between Windows and Mac. Pretty much every user has multiple email and calendar accounts set up, one user has ten calenders and fifteen email accounts. I just cannot see another email client handling such a load without complaint.

    If Mozilla actually treated Thunderbird as an equal to Firefox then maybe it would get the love it deserves.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on December 2, 2015 at 1:28 pm

      I’m pretty certain that Thunderbird could grow a lot if Mozilla would throw support behind it, add a working mobile app and integrate secure email natively.

  28. Dave said on December 2, 2015 at 10:53 am

    Beginning of the end? This would be the beginning of the beginning.

  29. Nebulus said on December 2, 2015 at 9:21 am

    I don’t like this decision from Mozilla, even though I stopped using Thunderbird a few years ago. The reason I did that was because of some bugs that were never solved during the years, even after I reported them. So I had to switch to Sylpheed Mail, but I had hopes that Mozilla would finally fix their product. It seems that this is not going to happen anymore.

    Even worse, this move highlights Mozilla’s abandonment of their principles in favor of cost cutting (read: more money). It is normal for a big corporation like Mozilla has become, but they should drop the act about how they are a blessing for the Internet. They are just a greedy big corporation, like all of them.

  30. Roy said on December 2, 2015 at 8:54 am

    I’m an Ubuntu user myself, and It’s been a while since I used Thunderbird (as I didn’t really like the GUI)
    So yesterday after reading this article, Iv’e found a new cross platform alternative: N1 by Nylas.
    It was surprisingly smooth and beautiful, and one of the prettiest client I have encountered on linux ever (Linux known for its ugly interfaces).

  31. mikecorbeil said on December 2, 2015 at 8:15 am

    People unhappy with thie Mozilla change with respect to TB being dropped really should tell Mozilla. Complaining, here, and other places is okay, but Mozilla also needs to be directly informed. I have some difficulty believing that Mozilla will drop TB, but it seems to be what’s planned, including for the near future. It isn’t good news and I’m no longer a Windows user.

    Imo, Mozilla needs to reverse tracks with respect to obsoleting TB. I don’t know if I’m right about this though. Maybe there’s a good reason to end TB. Other people will need to inform me, if there’re any good reasons though.

  32. Ñ said on December 2, 2015 at 7:00 am

    To alex: sad you don’t like any of those apps or they are not good enough to satisfy your needs, but “mozilla” (didn’t know people were this sensible) is going to drop support for thunderbird, so you and other users will be left with no option but to use one of them or use webmail. sad, mozilla was used to be cool, now, well they just try not to mess things up.

    To mikecorbeil: as i said before, if you don’t share my point of view, that’s cool dude no need to get angry we call it freedom of speech, and no, i won’t provide links for statistics because I NEVER SAID FEW PEOPLE USED THUNDERBIRD, i said few people use MAIL APPS in general, not only thunderbird, but all of the mentioned here. read again and stop making claims no one said.

    To svim: nope, i won’t discuss “that issue” !!?? because i couldn’t care less what you think, the same way i suggest you not to care about what i say.mozilla does that pretty good, they listen to no one. if they would do so, we weren’t discussing about this. I’ve been a firefox user since a long time and i feel upset about the direction mozilla has taken, but it would be fanboyism not to realize that the once cool mozilla is destroying itself the very same way opera did. and it is mozzarella not mozarrella. Have a nice day.

    1. mikecorbeil said on December 2, 2015 at 12:10 pm

      Ñ, if people don’t share your p.o.v., then they have a right to challenge it. If I hadn’t, then I wouldn’t have obtained the clarification you now provided about what you meant. Still, whenever you express a viewpoint, people have a right to challenge it. Otherwise, you should remain silent. In this case, all turns out well due to your clarification. So, relax.

      With that said, however, you should provide statistical resource links for claiming or inferring that few computer or Internet users employ e-mail apps. I might be mistaken about it but think most Internet users use e-mail apps. Msybe more use Google or Gmail online with a Web browser, f.e., but I don’t see why more would.

  33. Earl said on December 2, 2015 at 6:39 am

    This is probably good news for Thunderbird, since once it “separates” from Mozilla, it’s more likely to survive Firefox’s and Mozilla’s ultimate decline into irrelevancy. Kudos, Mozilla!

  34. abood said on December 2, 2015 at 6:25 am

    Sure, cut the cord on millions of genuine users who utilize Thunderbird daily for their email needs. Excellent move, Mozilla.

  35. IgHive said on December 2, 2015 at 5:37 am

    Seems like there is a trojan in Mozilla. Like Microsoft destroyed Nokia through Stephen Elop.

  36. Xi said on December 2, 2015 at 4:17 am

    It is surely a bad move. Many people prefer Thunderbird instead of Outlook and other email clients for trust and ease of use. Also, many people are in the dream of having Thunderbird app on Mobile Devices. Mozilla should think of making Thunderbird mobile app for Android, Ubuntu Touch and Windows. This would help users making it convenient. Hence, it’d receive more donations to increase development of the Thunderbird project.

  37. bish said on December 2, 2015 at 2:30 am

    If you’re looking for Mozilla, you’ll want the last app this organization ditched. It’s comical the ‘foundation’ kept the name of their most famously abandoned project, as if cherishing the act of tipping it into the bin.

  38. Marti Martz said on December 2, 2015 at 1:20 am

    Seriously? Delusions seem to be becoming rampant over there at Moz.

    The trust that was built with Moz is being destroyed a chunk at a time… some is already completely gone… my colleagues aren’t going to enjoy reading yet another bad move.

    Thanks Martin for keeping a lot of people informed.

  39. Rick said on December 2, 2015 at 12:24 am

    As a long-time user of Thunderbird, I haven’t seen anything in at least the past 5 versions (33 to 38) that really has involved development, other than those useless upload large attachments to another website options.

    Ditch the browser component completely, as I’m sure that’s what the updates deal with. Mozilla is having a hard enough time with keeping Firefox current :)

    If Thunderbird is dropped (or moved to a side project), you can be sure that other free email clients will move to monetize.

  40. Jonathan said on December 1, 2015 at 11:51 pm

    I really like TB, though lately with the lightning add-on it is lost some of it’s desire. I would love to find a windows equivalent of Google’s Inbox on Android, that is a really nice client. I think if Mozilla were to discontinue TB, then I am not sure what I would use, but it not be Windows Mail!

  41. Bill Blagger said on December 1, 2015 at 11:43 pm

    Probably a limit to how much a good email client can be further improved without it becoming a bloatbox. So, we’re just talking maintenance. Or is email dead now, anyway?

  42. Croatoan said on December 1, 2015 at 11:03 pm

    Nooo. Thunderbird is mine low impact on resource e-mail program.

  43. Don said on December 1, 2015 at 10:50 pm

    I moved to Thunderbird a long time ago for two reasons:
    1. Standard mbox data format, easy to move to another system if needed, and easy to parse text files to read email if needed.
    2. Awesome firefox browser engine because email became more and more HTML.

    I will be sad to lose Thunderbird. There’s no change in the short term; but it will become less safe over time without security fixes.

    1. Mary said on December 4, 2015 at 9:19 pm

      I agree, Don. This is devastating to me and will be to my brother who had a stroke and is not able to learn new things very easily. This has been our email since the dawn of time! It’s clean, fast, has such an easy user interface, NO ADS and useless space hogged by other things, like in web-based emails. I would gladly donate or even pay a reasonable amount to keep this going.

  44. Tom Hawack said on December 1, 2015 at 10:40 pm

    I’m a Thunderbird user myself and I hope this email client will live but I’d rather see it disappear than simply survive. If the project remains sustained without the breath of life than there’s no point, IMO, to fix an obsession on it. As someone else wrote we’re dealing with software not with a religion.

    If Thunderbird ends or survives I’ll most likely choose FossaMail as a new email client. FossaMail is to Thunderbird what Pale Moon is to Firefox and offers a 64-BIT version, developed both by the same team. I’ve been a user of PM and FM for some time and returned to Thunderbird when I returned to Firefox (an irrational attempt to rationalism).

    But, at this time, even if I often criticize Mozilla I do it nevertheless as a friend, if you see what I mean. The company is closer to my philosophy than Microsoft or Google, a bit like Opera was before they decided to shift towards a different plan. Consequently I do hope that Thunderbird will make it, will continue to make its way. But I won’t stick to a dying flesh. If it appears its journey is over I’ll move before it quits its users.

    1. Alex said on December 1, 2015 at 10:48 pm

      Fossamail doesn’t support gmail 2 factor login, and it seems like the Developer in charge is not interested in implementing it as it conflicts with his idea of how email should work.

      1. Tom Hawack said on December 1, 2015 at 11:16 pm

        I didn’t know that since I don’t use Gmail (nevertheless I could/should have known). Thanks for the information.

  45. Maelish said on December 1, 2015 at 9:45 pm

    Wow, piss off more users. Good job Mozilla!

  46. Henk van Setten said on December 1, 2015 at 9:16 pm

    Honestly, I don’t understand Mozilla. Looks like they are addicted to change-just-for-the-sake-of-change, and therefore they conclude that everything that has not been radically changed recently, is no good and should be dumped.

    This view makes no sense at all. It’s like Toyota saying “we will stop making Corollas, because designing solar-powered delivery drones for Amazon is a much more exciting thing to do.” Such a silly one-sided vision would of course bring doom to Toyota. And I’m convinced this same kind of silliness will actually cause the end of Mozilla. Since when does one side (the need to maintain what works fine) exclude the other side (the need to develop innovations)? In any good organization, these two sides go together. They do not drain each other: rather, the combination strengthens the whole.

    Mozilla may also be overlooking the latest trends. Thunderbird may in fact have a much brighter future than they assume. For ever more people are getting wary of the steadily growing privacy issues with services such as Gmail, Live Mail, Yahoo… Right now, some users are already beginning to look for much more secure and private ways to manage their email. In a few years from now, a revitalized (explicitly security-oriented) Thunderbird may be well poised to take over a large part of this germinating privacy-aware market.

  47. OM said on December 1, 2015 at 9:02 pm

    Bad move i really liked it
    but “we” still have Opera Mail :)

  48. C J Earner said on December 1, 2015 at 8:35 pm

    I stopped using Thunderbird a while back in favor of EMClient. I believe it was due to an update that (once again) broke Lightning’s Google Calendar support.

    I only have two email accounts in active use. My other accounts are all routed to Gmail. Because of this the free version of EMClient is sufficient for my needs.

    As far as the future goes, the latest iteration of Windows 10’s Mail and Calendar works nicely with Google. The start menu tiles are quite useful as are the Win 10 native notifications. I am considering switching to it once I update this last machine from Win 8.1.

    One thing that might prevent me from switching is that I store my mail archives on a local IMAP server. I have not yet tried to get Win 10 working with that. If I can’t drag and drop mail from Gmail to local IMAP I will stick with EMClient.

    As a side note I find it amusing that Win 10’s built in calendar works with Google but Outlook 2016 does not.

  49. seeprime said on December 1, 2015 at 8:21 pm

    I have been using Thunderbird for as long as I can remember, It works well and offers me a long term level of control like Outlook without being bloated like Outlook. I hope another group picks it up after Mozilla abandons it, and maintains it without trying to change things in it. We have a few customer that also use Thunderbird and have been loyal to it for years. I may have to try eM Client, that RossN mentioned, to see how well it imports my Thunderbird settings and folders when the time comes.

  50. RossN said on December 1, 2015 at 8:18 pm

    Have already shifted (about a year ago) to the excellent Outlook killer, eM Client. (Free for 1-2 email addresses per account). Now keenly awaiting version 7 Beta.

    1. Dave said on December 2, 2015 at 11:07 am

      eMClient is buggy. Try using more features.

  51. aoisjdaoisdj said on December 1, 2015 at 8:18 pm

    Good, they are right on track for pissing off as many users as possible, thus killing off Mozilla.
    It will be the last nail in the coffin for Mozilla.
    Sarcasm aside, as an avid fan of Mozilla I am sad to see the direction they are going with Firefox and Thunderbird.

    1. Wayfarer said on December 4, 2015 at 10:13 pm

      I’m with you mate. The words “goose” and “golden egg” spring quickly to mind.

      I’ve never yet found anything that appeals in browser-based webmail or applications like Outlook. Over a very long time indeed, only Thunderbird (portable version) has ever done the job properly for me, given that – for various but important reasons – I need to run about a dozen email accounts. Thunderbird does everything – not perfectly (in fact not even close) – but a hell of a lot nearer than anything else since I abandoned Eudora over a decade ago. I’ve tried every app, webmail client and Thunderbird/Eudora lookalike going – if there’s anything better I still have to find it.

      Clearly, a lot of this is about personal use and preference – not everyone uses the net or email the same way. But I’m betting there’s still a huge demand out there for a separate and comprehensive desktop email client.

  52. Max said on December 1, 2015 at 8:13 pm

    No big surprise. Time to migrate to the Thunderbird-based FossaMail, from the Pale Moon team ;-)

    1. mikecorbeil said on December 2, 2015 at 8:03 am

      FossaMail seems worth checking out. It’s available for Windows and Linux and this is good.

      Maybe it’ll also become available for Mac, since Mac runs on Unix and/or Linux. I don’t know if Apple ever made Mac usable with Linux but read maybe 14 years ago that Apple was working on doing this and I just haven’t kept up with that thread of conversation, say.

    2. C J Earner said on December 1, 2015 at 8:38 pm

      I hadn’t heard of the FossaMail project. I’ll have to take a look.

  53. CHEF-KOCH said on December 1, 2015 at 7:53 pm

    Very bad move, I love Thunderbird, it’s free you can customize it as you want and many more. Especially the TirdyBird Tor gab with Engigmail was for me essential now for years. I not know much alternatives which can do this, especially for free.

  54. Patrick Stabler said on December 1, 2015 at 7:23 pm

    For those of us who avoid webmail due to privacy concerns, have our own domains, use PGP mail encryption, and prefer having multiple email accounts accessible in one place – the possible abandonment of Thunderbird is not good news.

    On the other hand, if its divorce from Mozilla results in a properly funded and resourced development team focused solely on T’Bird – then all would be good. My dream would be a multi-platform Thunderbird that uses peer-to-peer technology to sync contacts, calendars, (maybe mail – might conflict with IMAP), across my various devices.

    It’s too early to be pessimistic or optimistic about this.

  55. Ñ said on December 1, 2015 at 7:17 pm

    No! no surprise at all, I think is a good move. There are lots of better alternatives to thunderbird, and quiet frankly, thunderbird wasn’t the same after the australis atrocity, so i guess few will be likely surprise, but what annoys me the most, is that it seems they won’t be getting rid of that useless piece of software firefox os is. If they drop that thing, firefox will likely receive more attention and maybe, only maybe, they may start fixing real issues and stop adding bloatware or removing cool features, but that’s another story unlikely to happen.. sad!

    1. cameo said on November 29, 2016 at 6:54 pm

      Both firefox and Thunderbirs seem to have gone to hell ………. literally !!

    2. Peter said on December 1, 2015 at 8:14 pm

      Hard to take anyone’s opinion seriously when they say Mozzarrella instead of Mozilla. It sets up as a person with an axe to grind. I come from the Linux world, and I get just as irritated when Linux fanboys talk of “Micro$oft”.

      1. Vladimir said on December 10, 2015 at 8:14 pm

        *Enigmail and others!..

      2. Vladimir said on December 10, 2015 at 8:11 pm

        @mikecorbeil Hey, that’s cool, but they’re comparing online services with (POP/IMAP) software email clients – like, apples and oranges – right?.. Anyway Thunderbird’s capability to hook-into (and vice-versa) encryption plugins and software (on Linux, for example – whatever that program’s called, I forget :)) is highly desirable; this can’t be done with online clients, in such as way AND so on and so forth…

      3. Earl said on December 3, 2015 at 1:07 am

        Being one of many “fans” of Microsoft way back in the ’80s who [even then] used “M$” to represent “Microsoft” all the time, either your or said “Linux fanboys'” interpretation or both are at fault for presuming subbing the “s” with “$” is only meant to be some kind of insult.

      4. mikecorbeil said on December 2, 2015 at 5:44 am

        I know Ñ’s response is to Peter and think it’s rather nonsensical but am not sure who swim’s comment is in response to. If it’s to Peter, then the response is unfitting, but if it’s to Ñ, then I’d say fitting.

        Mozzarrella instead of Mozilla is moronic, childish. I’ve read that Firefox without security extensions added is quite insecure software, even more insecure than MSIE; but, there’re sufficient security extensions for Firefox to make it quite safe to use, safer than MSIE, based on what I’ve read anyway. Also, Firefoox, like all Mozilla software, is multi-platform and MSIE is only for Windows, so Mozilla wins again; certainly for multi-platform software anyway.

        Also, an in addition to my other post further above, I also used Eudora during the 1990s. I don’t recall having had anything to dislike about it but did move on to use mainly Mozilla, after Netscape.

        I never used MS Outlook. I looked at it one time and put the it away forever. But, the following e-mail software review article doesn’t omit some good words about Outlook or else Outlook Express, today.

        “Best Free Email Software”, by MidNight Cowboy, last updated in April 2015

        MC has been contributing reviews to TSA for many years, which is a website for freeware and free versions of what otherwise is, when complete, non-freeware.

        He’s been reliable in terms of reviews, though not always for download links. F.e., he edited a review article for multimedia players, video anyway, one time a few years ago, maybe several, and for Windows users, of course KMPlayer was a top recommendation; but, he provided a link for the download and this wasn’t a download authorized by the providers of the player. It included third-party software that wasn’t malware but which was adware and which wasn’t approved by the providers of KMPlayer. That was a mistake MC then made, but his review was otherwise right.

        I verified that it was definitely a mistake by downloading from CNET as well as the principal English website for KMPlayer at the time. CNET hadn’t started to screw up downloads yet and both were the same size, while also being nearly 2MB smaller than the download from Softpedia. I checked at the authoritative website for what third-party software might be included and, if recalling correctly, it was a Yahoo toolbar that people could opt out of installing. Softpedia’s download provided a third-party software that, like KMPlayer, now really replaced with Daum Potplayer, is from South Korea. It apparently was only adware but can be a nuisance and shouldn’t have been included with KMPlayer installer.

        KMPlayer and, since, Daum Potplayer, are South Korean, but, and if I recall correctly, the unauthorized adware in the Softpedia download, plus (from what I’ve read about it) which seems to only provide suggestions for software to add to a user’s system, well, it was also South Korean in origin. If right about the latter, then both the player and the unauthorized adware were of SK origin, but it seems that Softpedia possibly was the only download website I used that provided an invalid download.

        Normally, I go to vendor websites, first, after which I’ll check, and then Before CNET began to screw around with downloads, it was also on my list of websites to check. I could still do that today and just check the specs page to see what the size of the download is going to be, for it was possible to continue to sometimes get full downloads a year or two ago. If the download was between 1 and 2 MB, f.e., then I checked at the other websites; but, when a download wasn’t of this range in size, and the size specified matched with what the other websites said, then no problem.

        For several years, I downloaded the “same” software from these different websites and then compared the downloaded sizes, besides, of course, scanning them with AV software.

        That’s a lot of extra FYI, but MC is a good freeware reviewer. Just be careful with where you do downloads from and don’t hestitate to check by also doing a download from another site or two and then comparing the sizes of the dowloaded installers.

        It’s a lot of extra info., but when it comes to Web browsers and e-mail reader apps, people need to keep in mind the extensions or add-ons that’re available. Some add-ons are very helpful.

        But, but, …, again, MC provides good reviews. If they’re not the best in the world, then share your knowledge.

      5. svim said on December 1, 2015 at 10:04 pm

        >> Mozzarrella
        Cute, but when you graduate high school please come back so we can discuss this issue like adults.

      6. Ñ said on December 1, 2015 at 8:21 pm

        Well that’s just your opinion, if you dont like mine, well then don’t read my comments. so simple like that, by the way take it easy it is just software, not religion

    3. Yves said on December 1, 2015 at 7:37 pm

      I would be super happy if you mentioned even one of the better alternatives to thunderbird, please!

      1. Andrea said on December 16, 2015 at 2:59 am

        Mailbird :D

      2. Vladimir said on December 10, 2015 at 8:04 pm

        Ugh, ‘Dark mail’ mention in the replies here, ‘rewrite the software and protocols from the ground up’ – thanks, but no thanks. The protocols are just fine, the way they are and encryption can be implemented without any difficulty. If they’re looking to sell encryption, by making proprietary software, REALLY, we can live without it, LOL.

      3. mikecorbeil said on December 2, 2015 at 3:45 am

        Alex certainly seems the one to read and pay attention to. Ñ responded with a highly questionable comment without any links for support. Ñ claims that few people used TB and I doubt that even this is true. If it was true, then Ñ would’ve provided links for statistics about the use of e-mail apps. But, the rest of what Ñ said also is highly questionable.

        Imo, and while I haven’t verified everything Alex said, it nonetheless is much more sensible or credible to or for me.

        I used Netscape Navigator suite during the 1990s and this eventually was taken up by Mozilla, so I switched to Mozilla suite. Then came out Firefox and Thunderbird, so I switched to these due to not needing the other apps in Mozilla suite. I also used another Web browser, like Opera, f.e., but this is only for when Firefox wasn’t rendering a page correctly, so Opera would be tried to see if it’d provide correct rendering, which it sometimes did, though not always. I’ve mostly used Mozilla products, after Netscape disappeared.

        I doubt that Ñ is right when saying that few people have been users of TB.

      4. Pants said on December 2, 2015 at 12:20 am

        @Alex – I totally agree.

        In all seriousness, e-mail is a solved problem – there isn’t much need for new features in a mail client. Although it could do with some extra integration, and then there’s always possible future protocols ( see ).

      5. Alex said on December 1, 2015 at 10:47 pm

        Windows Mail is nowhere near Thunderbird in functionality. Outlook comes with office and costs a hefty sum. Emclient is missing numerous features of TB, that’s why Softmaker ships TB instead of EMClient in their office 2016. Postbox is based on Thunderbird.

        Anyway, I love this app, it is great, I have my google calendar, my google voice, my google contacts, two factor auth email login, numerous email accounts, usability extensions, you name it. There’s no other client that’s even close to TB, and even if development halted entirely there wouldn’t be for years.

      6. Ñ said on December 1, 2015 at 7:53 pm

        windows: windows mail, outlook, mailbird, postbox, emclient, mac: apple mail, outlook, airmail, etc. dont get me wrong, i did like thunderbird back in the day, but now not even mozzarella cares about it. it is bound to die, and let’s be honest: few people use this mail apps, most like to use webmail (i hate it) and mozzarella seems to like the trendy thing these days.

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