We are pleased to announce that Thunderbird is following the Firefox Extended Support Release plan as documented in proposal for an Extended Support Release (ESR) of Firefox.
As mentioned a few months ago in Thunderbird Enterprise specific wiki pages, the ESR version of Thunderbird is for use by enterprises, public institutions, Universities and other organizations that centrally manage their Thunderbird deployments.
Releases of the ESR will occur once a year, providing organizations with a version of Thunderbird that receives security updates but does not make changes to the email client features or Thunderbird Add-ons platform. We have worked with many organizations to ensure that the ESR balances their need for the latest security updates with the desire to have a lighter application certification burden.
Mozilla is committed to providing the best email experience for people everywhere, and our goal for the Thunderbird ESR is to make it simpler for companies, public institutions, organizations, and institutions that manage their desktops to deploy Thunderbird in those environments. Over the last few months we received great feedback on the initial proposal from the Mozilla community and strongly believe that the ESR meets that goal.
Implementation specifics will be posted within a week to the Thunderbird planning and the Thunderbird Enterprise mailing lists. If you’re interested in the ESR or discussions around deploying Thunderbird in a managed environment, we’d encourage you to join the Thunderbird Enterprise mailing list and participate in its discussions. To join this group, please see the Enterprise wiki page for additional information.