Saturday, January 14, 2006

Mozilla Releases Thunderbird 1.5 E-Mail Client

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Mozilla Releases Thunderbird 1.5 E-Mail Client

Mozilla Corp. has formally released a new version of its Thunderbird e-mail client, which promises improved security features and tools designed to make the open-source product more user-friendly.

Thunderbird 1.5 includes a new phishing detector that issues an alert to users when a suspicious link appears in an e-mail message.

It also includes support for server-side spam filters used by Internet service providers, said Scott MacGregor, the lead engineer for Thunderbird at Mozilla.

Auto Upgrades Offered

Other enhancements include a spell checker, a message-autosave feature, and the ability to input and sort addresses by frequency of usage. Support for podcasts via RSS has been added as well, said MacGregor.

Basic features of the client include IMAP/POP e-mail support, a built-in RSS reader, support for HTML mail, mail-search capabilities, message filtering, message grouping, labels, return receipts, and the ability to manage multiple e-mail and newsgroup accounts.

"One of the best features of version 1.5 is automatic software upgrades as they become available," MacGregor said. "The spam control has been enhanced and we now provide a two-layer defense against phishing attacks by flagging suspicious e-mail messages for users."

18 Million and Counting

Thunderbird's support for RSS allows users to receive feed updates as e-mail messages, filtering and organizing these updates as they would ordinary e-mail.

Thunderbird 1.5 also allows users to access podcasts via a dialog box that provides direct access to the associated "helper" application, such as a Web browser or audio player. p> The software, runs on Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X, reportedly has drawn some 18 million downloads since the launch of Thunderbird 1.0 in December 2004.

"We have improved the e-mail experience by protecting users' privacy, eliminating junk mail, and adding quick-search capabilities with the built-in search bar as well," MacGrgor said.

Open-Source Advantage

"The biggest advantage of our e-mail client is that it is open source, based on the same platform as the Firefox browser, which lets enterprise I.T. managers and others in the open-source community look at the code and create customized Thunderbird extensions for their own purposes," he said.

"We are beginning to see an evolving ecosystem built on Mozilla, with Google integrating its desktop search with the platform and other companies adding their support," he said.

The latest version of Thunderbird can be downloaded at the Mozilla Web site.

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