The Mozilla Foundation wants to separate from Thunderbird, the free email, chat and news client. This is a surprising move, because Mozilla has developed Thunderbird since 2004, although it stopped updating it in 2012.
So, why do they want to separate? Well, Mozilla has declared that they want to sharpen its focus on development of Firefox browser. These plans were given to the public in a company-wide memo.
“I believe Thunderbird should would thrive best by separating itself from reliance on Mozilla development systems and in some cases, Mozilla technology,” has wrote Mitchell Baker, the executive chairwoman of the Mozilla Foundation and of Mozilla Corporation.
“The current setting isn’t stable, and we should start actively looking into how we can transition in an orderly way to a future where Thunderbird and Firefox are un-coupled,” she continued. Probably, this surprising move has been made after viewing the growing popularity of Web-based alternative forms of communications.
However, going back in 2012, Mitchell Baker stated that “once again we’ve been asking the question: is Thunderbird a likely source of innovation and of leadership in today’s Internet life? Or is Thunderbird already pretty much what its users want and mostly needs some on-going maintenance?” Baker was also very attached to Thunderbird and she said that this free email and chat application has helped her to organize vast parts of her life.
It is also known the fact that Firefox browser goes through a long-term fight with competitors like Google Chrome with the purpose to gain more market share. So, probably Mozilla has engaged all its engineers to work for a bigger campaign. “Engineers working on Thunderbird must focus on keeping up and adapting Firefox’s web-driven changes. Engineers working on Firefox and related projects end up considering the competing demands of Thunderbird, and/or wondering if and how much they should assist Thunderbird. Neither project can focus wholeheartedly on what is best for it,” Baker has declared.
We must add that Thunderbird has been released on the market in 2004, a time when many consumers were still addicted to desktop clients to access email services. So, at its release, Thunderbird had 1 million downloads in the first 10 days.