When Thunderbird, the Mozilla Foundation’s open-source e-mail client, first came out, I liked it a lot. But, then Mozilla put Thunderbird on the back burner to focus its attention on Firefox, and, frankly, Thunderbird slowly aged into a second-rate e-mail client. Now, at long last, a new, and vastly improved version of Thunderbird has just been released, and, let me tell you, it’s back to being great.
I started working with Thunderbird again with its beta 3 release earlier this year. I was immediately impressed. The 2008-vintage versions of Thunderbird were just, in a word, sad. This time around Mozilla got it right. Thunderbird, with the 3.0 release, deserves any e-mail user’s attention.
I say this after working with Thunderbird on two test systems. Both systems were Dell Inspiron 530S PC with a 2.2-GHz Intel Pentium E2200 dual-core processor with an 800-MHz front-side bus under the hood. Both had 4GBs of RAM, a 500GB SATA (Serial ATA) drive, and an Integrated Intel 3100 GMA (Graphics Media Accelerator) chip set. On the first, I was running Windows XP SP3, and on the second, I was running MEPIS Linux 8.0. Yes, that’s right, Thunderbird, like Firefox, runs on all popular desktop systems including Mac OS X, and, I might add, in almost 50-different languages.