New Thunderbird now available for download

Rafael Ebron

Mozilla, a global, nonprofit organization dedicated to making the Web better, today released new versions of Mozilla Thunderbird, its free and open source email application, available for Windows, Mac, and Linux.

The new Thunderbird, available in 52 different languages, is based on the  Mozilla Gecko 10 engine and includes improvements to searching your emails and a new ability to search the Web directly within Thunderbird. Users can simply type whatever comes to mind in Thunderbird’s search box and choose from several different search engines such as Google, Bing, Twitter, and Wikipedia. Search results will conveniently be displayed in a new tab in Thunderbird. Users can also select terms in their email and then right click to initiate a web search on those terms.

Thunderbird 3.1.18 security update is also now available from http://mozilla.org/thunderbird/all-older.html. Thunderbird 3.1.18 will no longer be supported from April 24, 2012.

We recommend that all Thunderbird users upgrade to these latest releases.  To get the latest versions of Thunderbird for Windows, Mac or Linux  download Thunderbird from http://mozilla.org/thunderbird or click on “check for update” under the “About Thunderbird” menu.

For more information:
 Thunderbird Release Notes and Thunderbird 3.1.18 Release Notes

The Plan for the Mozilla Thunderbird Extended Support Release

Rafael Ebron

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.

Improving Performance and Feedback in Thunderbird

Rafael Ebron

In the newest version of Thunderbird, we’ve added Test Pilot, Mozilla’s platform for collecting structured user feedback, and Telemetry a platform for collecting performance data.

Over the past few years, Test Pilot has provided valuable information to the Firefox developers with over a dozen Test Pilot studies launched covering tabbed browsing behavior, search interfaces, and menu usage. We have decided to implement Test Pilot and Telemetry to bring this same feedback opportunity to Thunderbird developers and help us make decisions to improve the user interface and develop new features.

For Test Pilot, users won’t be prompted until the first study or survey. Not all studies and surveys will go to all users. If users wish to opt-out completely, they may uninstall the “Test Pilot for Thunderbird” Add-on, by going to Tools -> Add-ons.

Telemetry provides data that we can use to identify areas of Thunderbird performances that can be improved and Telemetry will prompt users for opt-in on the first run of Thunderbird.

Although we have not delivered the functionality as an Add-on before, we decided to ship Test Pilot as an Add-on to keep it in the same structure as Firefox, and it also gives us flexibility to update all users of Test Pilot regardless of which version of Thunderbird they are on.

For more information:

Latest Thunderbird Beta and Earlybird are Live

Rafael Ebron

As part of Mozilla’s new rapid release development process, the Beta development channel and the Earlybird channel have been updated with the latest versions. For information about Thunderbird Beta and Earlybird please visit:

For desktop users, if you previously installed a beta or Earlybird version of Thunderbird you will receive an automated update notification within 24 to 48 hours.

New Thunderbird updates now available for download

Rafael Ebron

Mozilla, a global, nonprofit organization dedicated to making the Web better, today released new versions of Mozilla Thunderbird, its free and open source email application, available for Windows, Mac, and Linux.

The new Thunderbird, available in 51 different languages, is based on the Mozilla Gecko 9 engine and includes improvements to Personas, better keyboard support for handling attachments, several user interface enhancements, and a new opt-in system to send performance and usability data back to Mozilla to improve future versions of Thunderbird.

Thunderbird 3.1.17 security update is also now available from http://mozilla.org/thunderbird/all-older.html

We recommend that all Thunderbird users upgrade to these latest releases. To get the latest versions of Thunderbird for Windows, Mac or Linux download Thunderbird from http://mozilla.org/thunderbird or click on “check for update” under the “About Thunderbird” menu.

For more information:
Thunderbird Release Notes and Thunderbird 3.1.17 Release Notes

Thunderbird survey results

Rafael Ebron

We want to thank you for having taken the time to answer the survey we conducted this last November amongst Thunderbird users. We wanted to better understand who you are, what you like, and what features you expect from Thunderbird. We have collected and scrutinized more than 2300 questionnaires in English, German, French and Japanese and we are pleased to share some results with you today.

(Note: the link to the survey was on Thunderbird start page, which means only those of you who have kept the start page could access the questionnaire).

First of all, to set the scene, here is some information about Thunderbird users. The daily number of Thunderbird instances checking for an update gives us a first indication of the total number of users. The Active Daily User number has peaked to 7.8m users in November 2011, and is spread as such:

But Active Daily Users is only a partial view of Thunderbird users: a lot of Thunderbird users sit behind a firewall or have turned update checking off. Therefore, this figure is really partial. Experience shows that we need to multiply this figure by a factor 2 to 2.5: we believe Thunderbird is used by 15m to 20m users in the world.

Now to the survey:

  • More than 70% Thunderbird users are men! Please, tell your wife, daughter, partner how great Thunderbird is!
  • Up to 90% of you use Firefox as a web browser.
  • 65% of the respondents have 2 PCs or more and have Thunderbird on most of those PCs.
  • +70% of respondents use either Instant Messaging or Social Network service. This is a slightly higher number than to ones measured in the industry (Forrester 2010: 68% of online Europeans now use social media each month.)

That said, we got a lot of feedback and requests about desired features…the good news is that in many cases -not all -but many cases, the desired features already exist, or are available via Add-ons. We want to be better at  sharing information with you. We are looking at ways to give you more information about Thunderbird and its capabilities in the future.

The Thunderbird Team

Thunderbird Beta Channel: new update available

Rafael Ebron

As part of Mozilla’s new rapid release development process, the beta development channel has been updated with the third beta version of Thunderbird.  For information about Thunderbird Beta please visit:

For desktop users, if you previously installed a beta version of Thunderbird you will receive an automated update notification within 24 to 48 hours.

Lightning 1.0 Calendar Add-on for Thunderbird

Rafael Ebron

Lightning 1.0, the calendar Add-on for Thunderbird, is here.  Over 1 million users already started using Lightning during its beta program and their feedback has helped us to make an even better calendar program.

Here are a few articles to get you started using Lightning as your calendar and task manager:

Here’s a quick video on Lightning created by one of our users explaining what Lightning is all about.

New updates to Thunderbird and Lightning 1.0 now available

Rafael Ebron

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Mozilla, a global, nonprofit organization dedicated to making the Web better, today released new versions of Mozilla Thunderbird, its free and open source email application, and Lightning 1.0, the companion calendar Add-on, available for Windows, Mac, and Linux.

The new Thunderbird, available in 51 different languages, is based on the Mozilla Gecko 8 engine and includes improvements to attachment handling and accessibility, updated Search and Find shortcuts, and several security and stability fixes.  Hundreds of Add-ons have been updated for this latest version of Thunderbird and can be found in the Add-ons Manager gallery.

Lightning 1.0 is the fully integrated calendar Add-on for Thunderbird that lets users organize their schedules and life’s important events as a natural part of their email experience.  Lightning gives users the ability to manage multiple calendars, create daily to do lists, invite friends and colleagues to events and meetings, and subscribe to publicly available calendars.  With over a million active users, Lightning 1.0 is the calendar solution that users rely on to help them manage their daily lives at work and at home.

Thunderbird 3.1.16 security update is also now available from http://mozilla.org/thunderbird/all-older.html

We recommend that all Thunderbird users upgrade to these latest releases. If you already have Thunderbird, you will receive an automated update notification within 24 to 48 hours.

To get the latest versions of Thunderbird for Windows, Mac or Linux download Thunderbird from http://mozilla.org/thunderbird or click on “check for update” under the “About Thunderbird” menu.

For more information:
Thunderbird Release Notes and Thunderbird 3.1.16 Release Notes

Issue discovered with Thunderbird add-on upgrades

Rafael Ebron

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A new update for Thunderbird (7.0.1) that fixes add-on upgrades is now available, and all users are encouraged to update to the latest version from within the Thunderbird About window or by downloading from mozilla.org/thunderbird

We had identified an issue in which some users may have one or more of their add-ons hidden after upgrading to the latest Thunderbird version (7.0). These add-ons and their data are still intact and haven’t actually been removed.  Released today, the latest update for Thunderbird fixes this issue.  You can find more details on the Add-ons Blog.