Mozilla Delivers New Beta of Thunderbird Email Client

by Sam Dean - Jun. 03, 2011Comments (0)

As we've recently covered, Mozilla has moved to an agressive rapid release cycle for its Firefox browser, with the latest version 4 quickly emerging as the most popular version of Firefox. At the same time, though, Mozilla is pursuing rapid release cycle for other projects, including its Thunderbird email engine. Thunderbird is now out in a new beta version 5.01, featuring a number of upgrades.

Thunderbird is now based on the same Gecko rendering engine that Firefox is based on. Among enhancements in the new beta version of Thunderbird, there are these:

  • New Addons Manager and extension management API (user interface will be changed before final release)
  • Tabs can now be reordered and dragged to different windows
  • Revised account creation wizard, offering improved set-up
  • Attachment sizes now displayed along with attachments
  • New troubleshooting information page to aid supporting and diagnosing problems in Thunderbird
  • Plugins can now be loaded in RSS feeds by default
  • Support for Mac 32/64 bit Universal builds (Thunderbird Beta will no longer support PowerPC on Mac)

Mozilla operates a community-driven messaging board where you can discuss the new release with other users. Extensions and Themes can be downloaded from Thunderbird Add-ons, and extensions are among the reasons many people choose Mozilla's email client.

Last year, Mozilla had making much noise about its Raindrop messaging experiment, which promised to offer dynamically flexible views for sifting email threads on all kinds of devices. A look at the Mozilla Labs page for Raindrop, though, shows that the project hasn't gone far.  In all likelihood, the new rapid release cycles for Firefox and Thunderbird present Mozilla with as much work as it can handle currently. Mozilla has also wrestled with attempts to make Thunderbird a financially sustainable project, as we covered here.


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