Mozilla Thunderbird 1.5

product-thunderbird.pngI thought I’d give Mozilla Thunderbird a try this week. It’s not that I’m unhappy with Outlook, but the pretty Thunderbird icon has made the application somewhat irresistible. (I also wanted to manage a few of my email accounts independent of others — outside of simply setting up multiple accounts in Outlook — and using a second email client happens to do the trick.) Thunderbird 1.5 was release in mid-September. According to the release notes, this version did not include any significant enhancements outside of stability and security bug fixes, but it is a recommended download for everyone. thunderbird-screen-windows.pngAfter downloading, I stepped through the recommended setup. The installation would have gone very quickly, however, I allowed Thunderbird in import my account settings from Outlook which copied over everything – include tens of thousands of emails. This took a while. After launching the application, my first thought was, “Good. They didn’t try to reinvent the wheel. The interface is standard and rather intuitive. Good for them.” I then setup a few accounts which was painless, but I would change a couple of things. First, I wouldn’t separate the management of POP and SMTP Servers. I also would allow passwords to be provided when originally setting up an account — not when first trying to access the account. A ‘test connectivity’ option would be nice as well. It may be available, but I missed it. I’ve been using the tool for about two days now and I’m pleased with the basic functionality. And I have to give the Thunderbird Team credit for “the sophisticated and very well integrated Bayesian spam filter” and the integrated RSS feed reader as well. And, like Firefox, Thunderbird has Add-ons (extensions, plug-ins and themes.) I’ll have to take a look at what else is offered before making a final judgment. Here’s what you will here about Thunderbird on the Mozilla site:

Full-Featured Email
Simple to use, powerful, and customizable, Thunderbird is a full-featured email application. Thunderbird supports IMAP and POP mail protocols, as well as HTML mail formatting. Easily import your existing email accounts and messages. Built-in RSS capabilities, powerful quick search, spell check as you type, global inbox, deleting attachments and advanced message filtering round out Thunderbird’s modern feature set.
Junk Mail Filters
Each email you receive passes through Thunderbird’s leading-edge junk mail filters. Each time you mark messages as spam, Thunderbird improves its filtering so you can spend more time reading the mail that matters. Thunderbird will also use your mail provider’s spam filters to keep junk mail out of your inbox.
Anti-Phishing Protection
Thunderbird protects you from increasingly common email scams-also known as “phishing”-which try to fool you into handing over your passwords and other personal information. Thunderbird will tell you when it thinks a message might be a scam.
Advanced Security
Thunderbird provides enterprise and government grade security features including S/MIME, digital signing, message encryption, support for certificates and security devices. Attachments are never run without your express permission, protecting you from many worms and viruses.
Automatic Updates
The new Software Update feature makes it easy to get the latest security and feature updates to Thunderbird. Thunderbird automatically downloads these small updates in the background and prompts you when they are ready to be installed.
Customize Thunderbird
Select new button controls for your toolbars, install extensions to add new features, or change the look of your browser with themes-the way Thunderbird looks and works is under your control.