Email on the desktop just got a lot better. Mozilla Thunderbird 3 is here.
Thunderbird 3 is a vastly improved email client. More powerful — check out the new search capabilities and the new tabbed functionality, similar to tabs in browsers. More polished — many UI improvements that make life much more pleasant. More extensible. So extensible that an extension like Personas, which was conceived for Firefox, now works in Thunderbird
The extensibility is an important part of the future roadmap as well. It’s clear that for many people “email” as a category is changing to a broader “messaging” category that includes tweets, RSS, IM, etc. The Thunderbird extension mechanism allows a massive increase in exploration as a complement to the exploration underway in the Raindrop project.
I’ve also found that the update mechanism for Thunderbird 3 — beta to RC to final — has been great. In other words, painless, including my extensions. This makes using a separate client a lot easier.
I’ve been using Thunderbird 3 beta builds for some time now, and it’s been great. Get it here: http://www.mozillamessaging.com/en-US/thunderbird/