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12/27/2004
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First Look: Mozilla's Thunderbird 1.0

Columnist Ramon Ray takes a first look at Thunderbird, Mozilla's new e-mail program. Within three minutes, he's in love.


Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Smallbiztechnology.com.

I've seen the hundreds and hundreds of press mentions about Mozilla's latest application, the Thunderbird e-mail client, and finally downloaded it as I did Mozilla's Firefox Web browser a few weeks ago.

Well, I hadn't used Thunderbird for more than three minutes when I fell in love with it. I highly suggest that you visit www.mozilla.org and download your own copy.

I loved it so much that I've replaced Eudora with Thunderbird on my Hot Resources For Small Businesses page. Here's why:

  • The interface is clean, simple and easy to use -- things make sense.
  • I can finally access the authenticated outgoing mail server of EarthLink from a hotel, the office, or anywhere without having to be on EarthLink's network.

    (To prevent spammers from using their outgoing e-mail servers, some Internet service providers such as EarthLink block access to their outgoing e-mail servers to anyone not logged onto their network. For example, if I were in a hotel and I dialed up to EarthLink, I could use the outgoing server. But if I connected to the Internet via the hotel's wireless network, I could not access EarthLink's outgoing server.)

    Eudora did not enable me to do this and I simply do not use Microsoft Outlook, which would have enabled me to do this.
  • I can read RSS feeds from within my e-mail client.
  • There's a global inbox that lets me control how I view all e-mail. For example, if I want to display all my e-mail across all of my accounts, but only from the last few days, I can.
  • I can multi-task. While a message is being sent I can go back to the main Thunderbird window and do other tasks. In Eudora and Outlook you can only do one thing at a time for the most part.
I'm sure there will be more reasons why I like Thunderbird, but these are a few from my first look. I'm excited about this product.

Ramon Ray is a technology analyst, writer, speaker, and the editor of Smallbiztechnology.com. He is the author of "Technology Solutions for Growing Businesses," has written hundreds of technology articles and thousands of technology news items, and is a contributing editor to the New York Enterprise Report. As a former technology consultant, Ramon has years of hands-on experience in building networks, installing software, upgrading computers, configuring mobile technology, and supporting the technology small businesses use on a daily basis.

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