Mozilla Messaging releases Thunderbird 3.0

Published Date
09 - Dec - 2009
| Last Updated
09 - Dec - 2009
Mozilla Messaging releases Thunderbird 3.0

Finally 2 and a half years after the release of Thunderbird 2, we have Thunderbird 3.0, which is a significant upgrade. Based on the same core as Firefox 3.5 (Gecko Thunderbird 3 sports an impressive number of new features and improvements.

One of the most important new changes in v3 is the new tabbed UI, which allows you to open messages in tabs -- although composing a new message is still done in a new window. Messages now open by default in a new tab when double clicked.

Another highly improved feature in Thunderbird 3.0 is search. It now features a single search bar which allows you to perform rather searched quite simply. It even offers contact suggestions when it feels your search term matches a contact in the database. Search in thunderbird is now indexed, so the searches are faster and more thorough.

Searching for any term being you to a new search page, which is an incredibly powerful way of finding exactly the message you want. The page allows you to apply complicated filters -- such as including / dis-including contacts or folders -- to your search quite simply.

The interface has also been made much easier to use, and at no other time is this more apparent than when you are adding a new mail account, which now offers a simple dialog which only asks you for your name, email address and password. It automatically fetches the appropriate settings for your account. Adding people to you contact list is also greatly simplified and can be achieved by simply clicking on a star next to the person's name in a message header.

A lot of Thunderbirds new features are also to help it work like services such as GMail. It adds support for archiving messages, and includes a new GMail conversation like view for threaded conversations, where it shows a summary if multiple messages are selected. Like a GMail Labs extension Thunderbird can also detect if you have mentioned an attachment in your email, and yet not attached it.

Other UI improvements include a new "Smart Folders" which group your folders by function rather than by account, thus placing together all inbox folders into one global Inbox smart folder. Add-on management is also much improved, and Thunderbird now uses the new Firefox 3 style add-on manager which can search for and install add-ons. A new activity manager now shows the tasks which are being carried out in the background.

Thunderbird can also integrate with Windows Vista and Mac OS's search engines, allowing searches performed in the operating system to return results from your emails.

Recently Thunderbird had gone through quite a slew updates going from first release candidate to second release candidate to release in a short span of 2 weeks. Although the final release brings nothing new over the release candidates, it an quite an achievement indeed, and manages to finally bring the best release of Thunderbird yet.

Read more about the new features in Thunderbird 3.0
Download Thunderbird 3.0