Mozilla launches Thunderbird 3

Thunderbirds are GO
Thunderbirds are GO

Mozilla has launched Thunderbird 3 – the latest version of its email application.

Although it is chiefly known for the deservedly popular Firefox browser, Mozilla is no one-trick pony and one of its other products is the Thunderbird email app.

According to Mozilla "the new features in Thunderbird 3 help users work faster while providing the advanced flexibility and security they are accustomed to with all versions of Thunderbird."

The key new features in Thunderbird 3 are, according to Mozilla:

  • Tabbed Email: Provides the ability view individual emails and folders in tabs, and web pages via add-ons in tabs so users can quickly jump between them, just as one manages web pages in Mozilla's Firefox. Folder tabs are remembered, so Thunderbird starts up pre-configured and personalised to each user.
  • Filtered Search: Designed with search in mind, the new search interface in Thunderbird 3 contains filtering and timeline tools to help users quickly and accurately pin-point the exact email by word matches, correspondents or even attachment types at the moment they need it, all based on analysis of the user's own emails.
  • Message Archive: Archiving mail moves email from the inbox into the new archive folder system, de-cluttering the inbox while at the same time enabling users to find email months or years from now.
  • One-click Address Book: A very quick and easy way to add people to an address book, by simply clicking on the star icon in the messages received from new correspondents.
  • New Mail Account Setup Wizard: Getting started with Thunderbird 3 is faster than ever with the new account set-up wizard that requires simple information, like email addresses and passwords to get going instead of a user's IMAP, SMTP, SSL/TLS settings.
  • Smart Folders: Combines individual mailboxes to help manage multiple email accounts in one spot. For example, by selecting the Inbox, users can view all the incoming emails from all their different accounts without having to go to each email account separately.
  • Add-ons Manager: The new add-ons manager can help users find, download, and install hundreds of add-ons enabling them to customise Thunderbird 3 and add functionality or change the appearance.
  • Better Integration with Gmail: Now integrates with international versions of Gmail and Gmail's special folders such as sent and trash.
  • Better Integration with Windows and Mac OS X: Updated look and feel, improved import tools, search integration, and address book support for Windows 7, Vista and Mac OS X Snow Leopard.
  • Gecko 1.9.1 Engine: The same Web page rendering engine and graphics infrastructure used in Firefox, provides the latest Web Standards support and security enhancements.
  • Automated Updates: Thunderbird's update system notifies users when a security update is available and automates the download and installation process to keep users safe.

"We have some of the most passionate users on the planet who want a personal and familiar email experience – they choose Thunderbird because it's flexible and they can customise it to be exactly how they want," said David Ascher, CEO of Mozilla Messaging.

"And for people who just want their mail to be fast and intuitive, features like the new archiving and search help them spend less time worrying about and managing their email."

And just so you don't have to look it up, Thunderbird 3 was the spaceship, piloted by Alan Tracy.

Patrick Goss

Patrick Goss is the ex-Editor in Chief of TechRadar. Patrick was a passionate and experienced journalist, and he has been lucky enough to work on some of the finest online properties on the planet, building audiences everywhere and establishing himself at the forefront of digital content.  After a long stint as the boss at TechRadar, Patrick has now moved on to a role with Apple, where he is the Managing Editor for the App Store in the UK.