Mozilla Debuts E-Mail Subsidiary


Mozilla Messaging will improve Thunderbird, a free, open source, cross-platform e-mail client with a series of improvements including integrated calendaring, better search, as well as unspecified improvements to the user experience, which is customizable.

"Over the years, Thunderbird hasn't had the resources devoted to it that Firefox has, and it's time to catch up, so that we can implement many of the features we have planned," Mozilla Messaging CEO David Ascher wrote on his blog. "We're going to be starting a multi-year process of improving the back-end architecture of Thunderbird." The company hopes to launch Thunderbird 3 in late 2008.

"We're excited to renew the focus of our open source community on the future of Thunderbird," Ascher said in a release. "Every one of us is committed to building a great email product that people will love to use and that serves as the foundation for choice in a critical area of Internet software."

The subsidiary's board of directors consists of Ascher, Chris Beard, VP and General Manager of Mozilla Labs; and Marten Mickos, CEO of MySQL AB. Mickos' company was recently acquired by Sun Microsystems for $1 billion.

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The first version of Thunderbird was released in December 2004. It was downloaded 500,000 times in its first three days of release. To date Thunderbird has been downloaded more than 60 million times since the original release.