Thunderbird 2.0 Ready to Hatch

The Thunderbird developers are in their final phase of Thunderbird 2.0 development, according to Scott MacGregor, the Thunderbird Lead Engineer.

Thunderbird 2.0, RC2 is scheduled to be released by the end of the week for testing, Mr. MacGregor told TMO in an interview. "If all goes well, and no problems are found, then RC2 will be the final release, scheduled for about the end of April."

The Thunderbird e-mail program is an open source, cross-platform project. It has hundreds of active technical contributors and tens of thousands of nightly testers. It is available in 35 languages.

Version 2.0 has focused on improving three areas: e-mail organization, security, and customization. Specifically:

  • Message Tagging: metadata for better searches.
  • Advanced folder views.
  • Informative message alerts.
  • Easier setup and integration with .Mac and Gmail.
  • Phishing protection.
  • Junk mail filters.
  • An Open Source security model.
  • Best of breed plug-ins pre-loaded.

Thunderbird will also provide a basis for the Eudora "Penelope" project in which the Eudora look-and-feel will be joined to the Thunderbird core.

TMO asked about Mac OS X address book integration. "Weive started on that," Mr. MacGregor said, "but the full integration will have to wait until version 3."

The current release of Thunderbird is version 1.5. For Mac, the system requirement is Mac OS X 10.2.x or later.