Re: Escape from Lemming Mode
"Even though Thunderbird has been ignored for at least the last three years, it remains one of the better email clients around (which is a very sad commentary on the state of email readers these days)."
This isn't at all surprising. The relevant RFCs have hardly changed in years, so Thunderbird is still good enough even though it has been abandoned since (at least) 2012, except for pointless tweaks to the shiny bits. It's also free and runs on everything, which means you have a *real* barrier to entry for any new rivals.
Much the same was true of web browsers for most of the period 2000-2010. Two things broke the log-jam. Firstly, Firefox finally made enough progress on standards that even normal people could see the benefits. That "revealed" the changes that had accumulated in the relevant standards. Secondly, Google decided that they'd like all our browser data. Their huge cash pile meant not only that the cost of development was unimportant but also that they could pay to have it bundled with loads of unrelated third-party products, so they were able to buy an installed base fairly quickly.
This won't happen for email. There is no evidence of new standards getting ordinary punters excited and no megacorp with loads of money wants to promote an offline email client.