Skip to main content

Mozilla is thinking about ditching Thunderbird email client

mozilla apple google microsoft lawsuit headquarters
Image used with permission by copyright holder
Although the Firefox browser is the flagship product at the Mozilla Foundation, it’s far from the only one. There’s the Firefox operating system, Mozilla Composer, ChatZilla, Firefox for Mobile, and all of their various components. One of the more popular niche products is Thunderbird, the standalone email client, but it turns out that working on it is not something that the Mozilla higher-ups want to continue doing.

Mozilla doesn’t want to stop Thunderbird in its tracks though, but instead is leaning toward spinning it off so that more developmental time can be put into the Firefox browser.

“Many inside of Mozilla, including an overwhelming majority of our leadership, feel the need to be laser-focused on activities like Firefox that can have an industry-wide impact,” said Mozilla’s chairperson, Mitchell Baker (via Ars).”With all due respect to Thunderbird and the Thunderbird community, we have been clear for years that we do not view Thunderbird as having this sort of potential.”

It may be the Foundation is hoping for some other entity to buy Thunderbird, as Baker alluded to looking for the right “legal and financial home” for it.

Thunderbird is a client that has proven to be relatively popular as an alternative to some of the more mainstream clients, and it likely would leave a number of fans saddened if development halted completely. Whether Mozilla will be able to find a home for the software before it becomes too much of a drain on the Foundation is anyone’s guess.

As it stands, Thunderbird will continue to receive basic support in the form of security updates and any simple changes also made to the Firefox browser (as they both use the same rendering technology) but beyond that it seems unlikely that much more will be added.

Do you use an offline mail client like Thunderbird? If so, could your provider support Thunderbird moving forward?

Editors' Recommendations

Jon Martindale
Jon Martindale is the Evergreen Coordinator for Computing, overseeing a team of writers addressing all the latest how to…
Share encrypted files via Mozilla’s Firefox Send, a free file-sharing service
Firefox Send Mozilla Blog Stock Photo

A new and free file-transfer service offers users the ability to send encrypted files with expiring links, as well as a number of other personal data safety features.

Software developer Mozilla recently announced via a blog post that its new encrypted file-sharing service, called Firefox Send, has finally “graduated” from its former beta status.

Read more
Microsoft is ‘handing even more of online life’ to Google, Mozilla CEO says
firefox chrome back end mozilla symbol hq headquarters building sign convention open source


Microsoft announced it would be rebuilding Edge on Windows 10 by using Google's Chromium engine, but not everyone is happy with the decision. In a recent blog post, Mozilla CEO Chris Beard writes that he believes the move is "handing even more of online life" to Google.

Read more
What is an RSS feed? Here’s why you should still use one
A person using a HP ENVY x360 2-in-1 15.6-inch Touch-Screen Laptop sitting on a bed.

With so much new content on the web added daily, it can be tough to keep up with what's happening online. People try several different ways, including visiting specific websites every day, doing Google searches, or relying on social media to keep them informed. One solution that sometimes gets overlooked is an old-school one: The RSS feed.

What is an RSS feed? It's a technology that has influenced many modern internet tools you're familiar with, and its streamlined, algorithm-free format could make it your next great tool for reading what you want online.
What is RSS?

Read more