Thunderbird 3

If you came here expecting to read something about that single-stage-to-orbit spacecraft that Alan Tracy used to pilot up to Thunderbird 5, you’ve come to the wrong place. I’m talking about the new version of Mozilla’s e-mail client.

I use Thunderbird as my personal e-mail client attached to my mail account, and therefore the function I use most of all is ‘Delete’ as I clean up the stuff that isn’t spam but I really can’t be bothered to read (thank you Apple, for all those lovely-looking iPod and Mac adverts). However, I think that some of the new (or improved) features will prove quite useful…

  • Searching – an improvement… the thing I search for most often is my British Airways Executive Club membership number. The improved search feature provides a page of results, which means I can easily navigate through them. Nice.
  • Tabbed e-mail – if you open an e-mail it becomes a tab within Thunderbird. Lotus Notes does that too, so it feels more familiar.
  • Better address book integration – a yellow star by a name in an e-mail shows if they’re in your address book, and you can quickly click on the name to edit the contact details or reply to them.
  • Smart folders – I actually have a few private e-mail accounts… smart folders combine some of the standard folders (inbox, sent, archive) into one, which makes monitoring multiple e-mail accounts much easier.
  • Attachment reminder – rather limited but quite cool… if you type the word ‘attachment’ into an e-mail Thunderbird will remind you that you may want to attach an attachment.
  • Archiving – you can archive e-mails. I doubt if I’ll use this, I just delete stuff.

So there you have it… it’s not a tremendously exciting release, but there’s some nice touches. And hopefully the guy who created the Azerty theme will update it soon so I can get the look and feel I liked in Thunderbird version 2.

Written by Darren

Darren Adams works for Microsoft as a Global Account Technology Strategist. In a former life he worked for the Lotus brand within IBM for many years. Married with one daughter and two dogs, and lives in Camberley (Surrey, England). That's it really.

This article has 4 comments

  1. Mika Heinonen Reply

    How does it compare with SeaMonkey? I recently replaced Firefox with SeaMonkey, and since it’s a much better browser, maybe it is also a much better e-mail client?

  2. Timothy Briley Reply

    Tabs: Is this the Eudora group input? Conceptually I’ve always wanted to use Thunderbird, but the lack of a tabbed interface has kept me using Eudora. Maybe it’s finally time to migrate my data.

  3. Jesper Kiaer Reply

    I have been trying out Thunderbird lately and moved to Firebird 3 the other day.

    Combine it with the Lightning calendar (must use the Nightly build to make it work with Thunderbird 3) and you have a great mail/calendar client

    If I wasn’t using Notes/Domino this would be my mail/calendar client

    /Jesper Kiaer

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