On Friday, Mitchell Baker posted on the future of Thunderbird. In summary, we are focusing efforts towards important web and mobile projects, such as FirefoxOS, while Thunderbird remains a pure desktop-only email client. We have come to the conclusion that continued innovation on Thunderbird is not the best use of our resources given our ambitious organizational goals. It seems that the most critical needs for the product are on-going security and stability for our 20+millions users, either individuals, SMEs or large corporate/institutions.
However, Thunderbird is one of the very few truly free and open source multi-platform email applications available today and we want to defend these values. It also has an active community of contributors, developing new features and addons, helping people and translating the product around the world.
Therefore, we are proposing to adapt the Thunderbird release and governance model in a way that allows both ongoing security and stability maintenance, as well as community-driven innovation and development for the product. More details can be found here. Based on the early feedback received from the community, we are confident Thunderbird will continue to provide an outstanding alternative to proprietary email solutions for the desktop.
We want to publicly discuss this plan with individuals and organizations interested in maintaining and advancing Thunderbird in the future. We are looking for your feedback, comments and suggestions to refine and adapt the plan in the best possible way throughout the summer so we can share a final plan of action in early September 2012. We look forward to hearing from you.