Thunderbird subsidiary takes flight

Mozilla Messaging, the mail focused subsidiary of Mozilla, has opened its doors, promising to bring major changes to the desktop email client.

Thunderbird subsidiary takes flight

The new company says its first priority will be Thunderbird 3, which is set to feature integrated calendaring, better search and a number of interface enhancements.

The company says it will also be looking at ways of making it easier for users to migrate their email collections and archives from their current desktop client to Thunderbird, which it believes will be a major driver of uptake if resolved.

In the long term the company says it will be looking at making Thunderbird a “nexus” of communication platforms.

“It is worthwhile considering what the right user experience could be for someone using multiple email addresses, multiple instant messaging systems, IRC, blogs, VoIP, SMS, and the like,” says Dr Dave Ascher, chief executive officer of Mozilla Messaging, on his blog.

“I don’t believe that stuffing all of those communication models inside of one application is the right answer, but the walled gardens that we’re faced with today aren’t the right answer either. There is room for innovation and progress here, and we need to facilitate it.”

Intriguingly, despite having a $3 million budget, it seems Mozilla Messaging is set to follow the development path laid out by Firefox.

“The notion that anyone can and should participate in helping fix whatever is broken is a key tenet of the Mozilla project,” Ascher says. “Rather than lay out a bold vision and convince people that we’re going to solve all their problems, we see our primary role as that of facilitating collaborative approaches to problem solving and incremental progress.”

“This is an unusual approach, and it can be chaotic and slow. But it seems to have worked well for Firefox and the web, and I believe it can work well for Thunderbird and email.”

PC Pro spoke to Dr David Ascher shortly after it was first announced that Mozilla was to spin off Thunderbird. Find out his thoughts on the future of the desktop client here.

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