Mozilla brings Thunderbird back in-house

The move signals Mozilla is shifting its focus toward Web-based communication and social interaction.

Signaling a shift in its approach to online communication, Mozilla on Monday announced that it is bringing its Messaging subsidiary back within the fold of the main organization, where it will be absorbed into its Mozilla Labs group instead.

Practically, that will mean that Mozilla's popular Thunderbird email client software will now fall into one of two communication-focused projects under way within Mozilla Labs. While development will continue on Thunderbird there, a new and parallel innovation group within Mozilla Labs will focus on "online communications and social interactions on the Web," Mozilla Foundation chair Mitchell Baker explained in a blog post on the topic.

"The Web has changed a lot in the last few years," Baker wrote. "One of the big changes is how much we now use the Web for messaging, communication and social interactions. We post messages on social networking sites, we tweet, we get messages (often known as 'notifications') from applications, we use Web-based mail systems. The pace and importance of innovation in this space is enormous and growing."

Mozilla Labs has already been working on "identity, contacts and related topics," Baker noted. After the teams merge, Mozilla Messaging will be dissolved.

'A Solid and Foundational Technology'

The Mozilla Messaging subsidiary was formed back in 2008 to focus on Mozilla's open source Thunderbird software as well as tools including Raindrop for messaging and the F1 browser extension for social sharing.

Current Messaging head David Ascher will continue to oversee Thunderbird as well as leading the new, Web-focused innovation group, Baker said.

"Thunderbird users and contributors should see no difference in their experience," she explained. "Email is a solid and foundational technology which retains immense value.... We intend to continue our work with the Thunderbird email product to meet this need."

Focus on Firefox

I've been using Thunderbird for a very long time, but -- particularly given Mozilla's outstanding success with its latest Firefox 4 release -- I can see that shifting more focus to browser-enabled communication would be a logical next step.

It's going to be exciting to see what new capabilities will arrive in upcoming versions of Firefox as a result.

Follow Katherine Noyes on Twitter: @Noyesk .

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags open sourcesoftwareemailapplicationse-mailinstant messagingmozilla

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Katherine Noyes

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?