Software // Enterprise Applications
News
9/18/2007
01:22 PM
Connect Directly
Google+
LinkedIn
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Mozilla Forms E-mail Technology Company To Develop Thunderbird

Mozilla committed $3 million in seed funding to support e-mail innovation and to develop the open-source Thunderbird e-mail client.

Mozilla yesterday committed $3 million in seed funding to establish an as-yet-unnamed subsidiary to support e-mail innovation and to develop the open-source Thunderbird e-mail client.

MailCo, as the nascent organization is being called until a suitable name can be secured, is modeled along the lines of the Mozilla Corporation, a for-profit subsidiary of the non-profit Mozilla Foundation that was formed in 2005 to create and distribute open-source software like the Firefox Web browser.

David Ascher, currently CTO and VP Engineering of ActiveState, has been chosen to run the new e-mail company.

"Innovating in mail and communications advances our vision of choice across the spectrum of Internet software," said Mitchell Baker, chair of the Mozilla Foundation, in a statement. "David has been a respected member of the Mozilla community for many years and we're excited that he is joining Mozilla to lead this important effort."

In July, Baker said in a blog post, "We have concluded that we should find a new, separate organizational setting for Thunderbird; one that allows the Thunderbird community to determine its own destiny."

The Thunderbird community consists of about 5 million people using the software worldwide. Mozilla said that nothing will change for Thunderbird users.

That lack of change may be what's been preventing Thunderbird from being as popular as Firefox. The constant development of online e-mail clients like Google Gmail, Yahoo Mail, and Microsost Hotmail, in conjunction with the failure of Thunderbird's developers to deliver a competitive calendar application to challenge Microsoft Outlook, has left Thunderbird somewhat behind the times.

As Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo continue to integrate their free online e-mail services with other applications like IM, calendars, and the like, not to mention anti-spam technology, Thunderbird's status as a stand-alone e-mail client looks like a liability.

Perhaps with MailCo behind it, Thunderbird will rise again.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Building A Mobile Business Mindset
Building A Mobile Business Mindset
Among 688 respondents, 46% have deployed mobile apps, with an additional 24% planning to in the next year. Soon all apps will look like mobile apps and it's past time for those with no plans to get cracking.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Tech Digest, Dec. 9, 2014
Apps will make or break the tablet as a work device, but don't shortchange critical factors related to hardware, security, peripherals, and integration.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on InformationWeek.com for the week of December 14, 2014. Be here for the show and for the incredible Friday Afternoon Conversation that runs beside the program.
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.