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Thunderbird is not being discontinued. I explore some options and stick with my recommendation... for now.
Hi Leo. Now that Mozilla has announced that they are discontinuing Thunderbird, do you have a backup POP3 recommendation?
In this excerpt from Answercast #35, I look at the changes announced for Thunderbird.
Well, first of all we need to be very, very clear on something.
What they are discontinuing is active development on major new features to Thunderbird. In other words, the Thunderbird that you and I know today is pretty much what it's going to be now for the rest of its life.
They are still doing minor fixes, bug fixes. I'm sure they are still supporting the application as it is and they'll probably continue to support the addition of, or the ability to create, add-ons for the program.
So it is not the kind of a thing where we need to jump ship right now. Absolutely not.
I plan to keep on using Thunderbird for several more years until I actually have a reason to switch. It's working well for me.
Now, having heard that very frustrating announcement about Mozilla's plans to decrease the amount of effort that gets put into enhancing or increasing Thunderbird's feature set, I did put some thought into other programs. Unfortunately, I did a little of research in the last couple of days. As it turns out, the number of options that are out there is significantly more limited than I thought for desktop email programs.
In fact, when it comes down to it, there's really only one that I personally would consider switching to at this point:
And that's Microsoft Outlook.
The Outlook that comes with Microsoft Office.
I say that because it's the only one that, so far, presents the feature set that I'm looking for – at least on Windows.
It still doesn't give me the full feature set that I'm looking for in that the Office Outlook that might be available on Mac isn't really the same program. I don't know if they're actually compatible. And of course, there is nothing compatible available on Linux.
So it's a frustrating situation, but I don't think it's a reason to panic. They're not discontinuing Thunderbird. I'm hopeful that between now and maybe the day that we decide we need to switch to something else, another more viable alternative will have come up.
So Thunderbird remains my recommendation and I believe that it is safe to keep using it until something else comes along, or until I find a reason to change. I don't expect that to be for, quite literally, a few years.
I could be wrong. I could end up needing to change email programs at some point, but right now, today I just don't see it:
End of Answercast #35 Back to – Audio Segment
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