back to article Thunderbird 2 is go

An updated version of the open source email client Thunderbird was released today. The Mozilla Foundation said Thunderbird 2 would improve users' email experience. It claims better security and spam filtering and improved phishing filters and search. Mozilla's Firefox browser and Thunderbird client have both won a lot of fans …

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You scared me for a minute there...

...I thought someone had made a sequel to the film.

But no, the email client. That is good news.

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Unremarkable software

I use the beta version with an IMAP account of and it is absolutely unremarkable software. Nothing about it seems that innovative - infact it's not really anymore advanced than Netscape 4 and Outlook Express was 7 or 8 years ago. If they don't innovate the client any further than this no one will be sticking around. It does its job but there's nothing to see, Mulberry had the potential to be much, much better.

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Gold badge

Missing the point

Kevin is missing the point, this isn't meant to compete with Outlook Express based on features. Simply by using Thunderbird instead of Outlook Express means you are slightly less likely to get a virus.

Outlook Express uses the IE HTML engine and this makes HTML email attacks possible.

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Anonymous Coward

A lot better than Outlook Express

I believe that Kevin Hall is mistaken-

Outlook Express from 7 years ago falls over with just a few thousand emails. My Thunderbird installation has several thousand emails stored accurately and easily searchable. The new message flagging system will only improve this.

Outlook Express from 7 years ago does not support third party add-ons. Ick. And no junk mail filter either.

Outlook Express from 7 years ago is not free (as in speech). It is proprietary and forced on users (which only helps to keep them ignorant of alternatives). Being free is an advancement in itself.

Outlook Express from 7 years ago does not run on only runs on one operating system. Not terribly advanced.

Outlook Express from 7 years ago does not have themes and you're forced to use your email in the way Microsoft wants you to. Not terribly advanced, or user friendly.

I think that will suffice to highlight how unbalanced and ill-considered Kevin Hall's review is.

Thunderbird is a very nice POP client for those of us who still use it. Just how innovated can a POP client be when so many people are shifting to the more convenient gmail (and other less fashionable alternatives).

Thunderbird 2 installed cleanly over my existing Thunderbird installation and worked first time around. It didn't ask any difficult questions, automatically detected which add-ons to use, and set up all of my account details correctly. Try getting Outlook Express to install as cleanly.

Kevin Hall no doubt likes to make sweeping comments, but should refrain from doing so where they are so obviously wrong he looks foolish.

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No calendar then

Add calendar and to-do lists, and I'm switching. Seeing as Eudora went open source, I was hoping some of its feature-set may have made it (the peppers indicator for example!), random signatures and just more than a basic email client (most of the masses use Hotmail anyway)

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Not so!

Actually my upgrade to Thunderbird 2 reverted some odd settings such as spam settings (no longer set to automatically delete messages marked as spam). I have yet to look properly and see what others are changed/reverted to default.

Although, when I first saw the title of this article, I immediately assumed that some government agency somewhere had built a bulky flying craft capable of rapid deployment of miniature submarines...

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Calendar?

If you want a calendar, look at downloading Mozilla Sunbird - it integrates nicely with Thunderbird, and should do all you need.

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Not so!

Actually my upgrade to Thunderbird 2 reverted some odd settings such as spam settings (no longer set to automatically delete messages marked as spam). I have yet to look properly and see what others are changed/reverted to default.

Although, when I first saw the title of this article, I immediately assumed that some government agency somewhere had built a bulky flying craft capable of rapid deployment of miniature submarines...

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Calendar!

There is a calendar for Thunderbird...Its called Lightning. Its still only at v0.3.1 but its quite good an integrates with Thunderbird, unlike its counterpart, Sunbird which doesn't require Thunderbird to run.

http://www.mozilla.org/projects/calendar/

Ta Dar!

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It may be unremarkable

most email clients are, unless of course you're talking about any of the hideous products from Microsoft.

Outlook Express is obviously the most malware friendly email client ever conceived, and Outlook itself is the most user unfriendly email, calendar, contact combo ever supposedly designed.

In fact there are large portions of Outlook that have only been fixed in its latest version. Even so it remains slow, easy to corrupt, and as so unintuitive it leads me to believe someone at Microsoft deliberately made it as nasty a product as they possibly conceive.

You see I like email clients that let me send email, allow me to lookup LDAP directories as I'm typing a name in the To field, and don't open attachments or dodgy HTML code imbedded in email unless I decide that's what I want.

What I don't like is having to work through so many options to get a piece of software to function as the average person would expect, so many in fact you often can't remember where something you need to change is.

Consequently setting standards for business users is extremely painful.

No, I'll take an unremarkable email client over flashy features that don't work any day. In fact I have no desire to have anything remarkable about my email client. Sending someone a message shouldn't have to be any more complicated than typing.

Oracle produce a fine calendar program that integrates well with Mozilla products, and of course that the cost of implementing an IMAP email system is a fraction of the cost of using Exchange.

So good job Mozilla, and continue to keep my email client unremarkable.

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1.5.x better than 2.0?

my goodness. was excited to see the new theme and started using it, only to find that it had the same bugs that the betas had in the past: downloading duplicating messages, calendar extension event creating difficulties, folder compacting difficulties, "this folder is being processed" errors... ouch.

/SS

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Thanks for validating what I said

I'm just amazed at how defensive some people get. The basic functionality of Thunderbird 2 is not hugely different from Outlook Express 4.72 and more importantly not that improved on Netscape 4. Considering both are years out of date that isn't hugely impressive.

First, there is no evidence that OE is unstable with large amounts of data. Please back this claim up.

Outlook Express has *always* supported add ons and still does.

OE is a commercial product, it's never pretended to be anything else. You're comparing apples and oranges.

Outlook Express from 7 years ago was also written for Macintosh OS and Solaris.

Okay, you can't skin OE, but so what? You can't skin Mulberry, Pegasus or most other email clients.

You *can't* innovate a POP client. POP is crap.

Outlook and Outlook Express are completely different products. I don't know why anyone is dragging this into the argument.

I think you're missing the point, I don't even like Outlook Express, my point was (before it got lost in all this feeble anti-Microsoft propaganda) Thunderbird is a decent but unremarkable email client and hasn't done that much more than rewrite Netscape 4.

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Anonymous Coward

hysteria

Hey Kevin, Dude,

Well like you were implying, or at least seemed to be implying, or anyway something like that you know, that Microsoft were like cool or something, and like that one time on Star Wars where Darth Vader fought Obi Wan Kenobi that really the evil side were <i>winning</i> or something, and like you cannot suggest that, even if it is the <i>old</i> death star, and not the new one, if there was one, which obviously there wouldn't be, because like episode four was so far before all that.

And that's why people don't like Outlook Express from 12 years ago, so I hope that's cleared up.

Oh, and I used to have 12 million messages in Outlook Express, and it was fine. Well 12 anyway, I don't remember. something like that and it never ever crashed, well apart from that one time.

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Anonymous Coward

Tags - not a new feature

Funny that Thunderbird 2.0 boasts tagging as a new feature to the product line. Previous versions of Thunderbird (1.5 for sure and up) has tags implemented as "Labels". Its not a new feature at all... just a new name. Its actually worth calling this a major revision. It should be 1.6.

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Calender and To Do's

If you want a calender and To Do's simply download "reminderfox". It works in Tbird and Firefox, and is simple and easy to use.

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Anonymous Coward

A bit lacking on the Mac

The preferences in the Mac version are pretty shabby. Controls are out of place and mis-aligned. They don't really conform to the Apple HCI guidelines and it doesn't look like a real Mac OS X app. I don't even think they're using the standard system font.

Also, why isn't there an option to import my emails from Apple's Mail app? Eudora and the other one it lists (I forget now) aren't exactly market leaders on the Mac.

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I actually agree with Kevin...

I am complete agreement with Kevin. Thunderbird is _OK_, but just doesn't really innovate in any way. Tagging? Wow, that's a real killer feature that is!

I'm not a OE fan, but you guys keep referring to OE from years ago and it has actually been developed since then. The new Windows Mail on Vista, while not radically different, adds junk mail filtering and external image restriction and sort of integrates with the new Vista calendar. All Kevin meant (At least, what I got from it anyway, without having the ability to read his mind!) is that Thunderbird isn't a huge departure from OE 7 years ago. If you're going to compare them, compare the current version.

Having said that, I use Outlook, which is a different beast altogether, and the 2007 version is the best yet. I do understand that it's price is prohibitive to most people.

In my mind, if you want a client that copes with 1000s of messages, has a good filtering system, junk mail filter, and even skinning ability, look no further than The Bat! - it is continually developed and is by far and away the best client for the money.

The one thing I look for in a client is the ability to shrink it out the way and it not consume too much of my system, which Outlook and The Bat! both do, but OE and Thunderbird doesn't.

Remember, Open Source isn't the only way, and free doesn't always mean free, especially if it takes more time to learn a new system and when you can't get support apart from on forums which are populated by open source fanatics anyway. Also, the fact that the source is open means it is less secure in my opinion, not more that most people think. Just look at how many vulnerabilities that have been found in Firefox compared to Opera for proof of that...

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Too much email.....

"First, there is no evidence that OE is unstable with large amounts of data. Please back this claim up."

Whoa, if you have large amounts of data, never mind backing up the claim, back up your email, and quickly. The maximum size of a dbx file in OE is 2Gb

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/903095

I have had to try and help many customers who have inadvertently hosed their email - however, you are right to point out that the evidence isn't that OE is unstable with large amounts of data. Most of the anecdotal evidence is just that OE is unstable!

There are a lot of companies offering to recover lost OE mail.... must be some basis for their business plans.

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Anonymous Coward

Improvements

1. It feels significantly faster than v1.x.

2. It does not enter an infinite loop as the old version did with one of my newsgroup folders.

3. There is a new view, called "Threads with unread" which shows not only unread postings but all the older postings as well. This is a great help in following discussions - at least for me.

The only downside I found so far is the eye icon for watched threads - the old colored dot was much easier to spot IMHO.

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Umm

"Well like you were implying, or at least seemed to be implying, or anyway something like that you know, that Microsoft were like cool or something, and like that one time on Star Wars where Darth Vader fought Obi Wan Kenobi that really the evil side were <i>winning</i> or something, and like you cannot suggest that, even if it is the <i>old</i> death star, and not the new one, if there was one, which obviously there wouldn't be, because like episode four was so far before all that."

...what?

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