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Mozilla Says Its Thunderbird Email Client Will Get Major Improvements This Year

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Mozilla has announced that it's got a lot in store for Thunderbird this year, its long-running email client that hasn't seen any significant upgrades in the last couple of years.

The company has been revamping its flagship web browser Firefox of late, which now boasts its Quantum engine that Mozilla says performs better and more efficiently than the infamous RAM-hogging Chrome browser.

Mozilla's 2019 Plans For Thunderbird

As such, it only makes sense to also upgrade the second-most popular product in its lineup, which happens to be Thunderbird. Google has done a lot to improve the experience of using Gmail on the web, and because of which, it feels as though using email clients is unnecessary. Add to that the fact that people tend to use their smartphones for sending emails, anyway, which takes away Thunderbird's position in the context of consumers' workaday lives.

Still, Mozilla wants to reinvigorate the client for 2019, and Mozilla will do that by making Thunderbird faster and prettier, says Thunderbird community manager Ryan Sipes.

"Looking into the future, this year looks bright for the Thunderbird project," Sipes said in a blog post. "[W]e will be looking into leveraging new, faster technologies in rewriting parts of Thunderbird as well as working toward a multi-process Thunderbird."

Mozilla Thunderbird Was Almost Let Go

It had become unclear a few years ago whether Mozilla would continue to support Thunderbird. In 2015, the organization decided to decouple Thunderbird's technical infrastructure from Firefox's and look for other organizations that would like to invest in it. Ultimately, however, Mozilla decided to keep Thunderbird and continue supporting it instead of sending it off to another organization. As a result, Thunderbird received some much-needed stability. There are now eight full-time employees working on the project, according to Sipes, and six more will come onboard soon.

This year, the team is poised to make Thunderbird run faster and address its performance issues. They also aim to rewrite some parts of the client toward a multi-process version that can better take advantage of modern processors. Firefox, it's worth noting, went through a similar rewrite and is now better optimized for multi-processor platforms.

Apart from performance revamps, Mozilla hopes to clean up Thunderbird's user interface and introduce a more modern look. Not only that, the team also wants to bring better notifications and, most important, improved Gmail support. Google has rolled out a bevy of updates for Gmail that simply don't work on Thunderbird, and Mozilla wants to fix that this year.

Make sure to check back with Tech Times as we learn more.

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