Thunderbird 3

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.


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.

4 Responses

  1. 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 says:

    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 says:

    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

  4. Darren says:

    @1 – I can’t answer that, I’ve not used SeaMonkey.

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