Thunderbird: Mozilla ends development of their email client
July 09th, 2012 - 10:40 am ET by
Mozilla has announced they will no longer be developing their Thunderbird client. The foundation isn’t abandoning their email client through, stating that they will now cut it into two distinct versions.
Thunderbird provided a multi-platform and open source solution to anyone looking for an email client, with there being more than 20 million users to trust Thunderbird. But Mozilla believes that their priority is to simply maintain their stability rather than developing it.
Other priorities have now come about meaning that all future development will cease. The ESR version of Thunderbird - for Extended Support Release – will remain static with only security patches being released every six weeks. A future version of Thunderbird ESR has been announced for the 20th of November 2012.
But Mozilla also trusts their developer community to assure the future of their Thunderbird version (non-ESR). For this, a governance model with a light structure will allow for contributions from the community to integrate contributions and security updates for the ESR edition. Proprietary extensions for Thunderbird will remain managed by their extensions.
For the foundation, this will quickly translate into the reallocation of Thunderbird developers inside the Mozilla Corporation. Projects will be developed in line with the Firefox multiplatform browser and Firefox mobile applications which are based on the Gecko engine upon which the Firefox mobile OS is built on.
Launched in 2003, Thunderbird, currently in version 13.0.1 (with version 14.0b1 being well advanced) is based on the Gecko engine like Firefox. It has had a lot of development made on it since its launch thanks to the added possibility of extensions.