Mozilla to Reignite Thunderbird

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Mozilla has announced that it intends to give the for-pay mail clients out there a run for their money with its upcoming update to its Thunderbird client, which we’re told we can expect to revitalise a scene that’s started to look a little stagnant.

According to TheRegister’s interview with the chief of Mozilla Messaging, David Asher, the company has some fairly big plans in the works that it hopes will breathe new life into Thunderbird over the course of 2010. Thunderbird 3.0 is already well on the way, with beta versions looking tighter and tighter, but perhaps more interesting is what we can expect to see from Thunderbird 3.1, and thankfully we won’t have to wait an eternity to see it.

For now, we have relatively little word on just what it is that we can expect to see in the upcoming releases of Thunderbird that it feels will do so very much to stoke the flames of interest surrounding the product, but we think (as it seems, do the folks at TheRegister) that it’s very likely it has something to do with the recently debuted Mozilla project, Raindrop.

For those who haven’t already had a chance to take a look at the video for Raindrop, the service essentially seems to sort mail based not only on importance, but from apparent sources. The demonstration of Raindrop in action shows that, for many of us, inboxes are easily drowned in updates that are very little more than spam, but from services we know and trust, like Facebook or YouTube.

Communications from these services are clearly important to many users, but the fact is that they’re not really what many of us want our inbox to be jammed with. Instead, Raindrop simply sorts your mail depending on its source, so users may have a tab for services like Facebook, whose messages they trust and want to receive, but which would likely clutter an inbox, burying mail from human beings.

Certainly it’s an interesting project, and one we’ll be curious to see make an appearance in a standalone mail app. It looks like it could well be coming time to start seriously considering Thunderbird again for more reasons than the old “it’s free” chestnut.

You can read more about Mozilla’s plans to reinvigorate Thunderbird over at TheRegister.

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