Digital Edition

Thunderbird Not As Successful As Firefox, Says Report
"MS Outlook Is Simply Too Entrenched"

Available for free, and offering state of the art security functionality, including Firefox HTML rendering, Bayesian spam filtering, image blocking, and virus protection, the Thunderbird e-mail client "stacks up well against MS Outlook in terms of functionality," says a report, but isn't having the same kind of success in the e-mail market that Firefox had in the browser market.

Thunderbird?s biggest weakness is that as yet it has no calendaring.

"With an army of open source developers and a strong grassroots campaign, Thunderbird has the potential to win over at least some of the current MS Outlook installed base," the report - compiled by The Radicati Group, a technology research form - states.

But "MS Outlook is simply too entrenched in the lives of too many e-mail users to be displaced and has hundreds of third party plug-ins that give it additional functionality," it concludes. 

And the good news? "We believe Thunderbird will provide needed competition in what has been a stale market for the last few years."

About Jeremy Geelan
Jeremy Geelan is Chairman & CEO of the 21st Century Internet Group, Inc. and an Executive Academy Member of the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences. Formerly he was President & COO at Cloud Expo, Inc. and Conference Chair of the worldwide Cloud Expo series. He appears regularly at conferences and trade shows, speaking to technology audiences across six continents. You can follow him on twitter: @jg21.

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Reader Feedback: Page 1 of 2

I, too, would use Thunderbird if it did everything that Outlook does. The calendar is very important to the things I do.

OK, I admit it... I'm lazy! :) What Outlook and Eudora support that Thunderbird doesn't is automatically dialing and hanging up when finished.

I can (and have) dialled manually, retrieved whatever with T-bird then hung up manually, but I prefer to set my mail app to check mail every 10 minutes or so. With my ISP, I get 20 hours of dialup per month on top of my DSL connection, so my dialup online time is limited (did I mention that I'm also cheap?). I don't want to forget to disconnect, and use up a few hours needlessly.

Don't get me wrong... Thunderbird rocks! I'm going to give Sunbird a look, and once I can get T-bird to import my Outlook data without coughing up a lung I'll switch.

Tony, I have no idea. For about 3 years, my company tried to get a common Calendar tool using Exchance, MeetingMaker, a few others and 100% of the time, they all failed for at least 20% of the people. I would get maybe 4 out of 5 notices, etc. We now use an in house Java application that we all log into, set up and reserve times, meeting rooms, etc, and email notifications are easy, since it links to the company LDAP servers. It is simple, and works for us.

I looked at the Calandar info page, it talks about publishing and sharing, but leave that up to someone who uses it to investigate.

Dave, I don't understand your scenario. Do you mean that it won't dial out automatically when you start it up if you are not connected? I am not sure why you can't put a link to your dial up connection on the desktop, get connected then start Thunderbird. Am I missing something?


Fred, Kevin, Ray, and Dave,
How do you get Sunbird to talk to an Exchange Server for shared and public calendars? It works fine for stand-alone (one person) calendaring, but it falls short for the enterprise.

Don't get me wrong. I'd love to see it all fit in as an "Outlook Killer", but it's not quite there yet. Maybe by the time Sunbird hits the 1.0 mark it'll be there.

> One more time this is the link to the
> thunderbird calander

Cool... I couldn't find anything about it when I d/l Thunderbird a couple of months ago. I'll try it out as soon as I get the chance.

T-bird still doesn't have proper support for dial-up connections. I'm a consultant, and want to access my business e-mail when I'm on a client site. The client's network blocks POP/IMAP traffic, and their firewall blocks webmail sites. So, I (and several others in the same boat) have laptops that dial out to get e-mail.

Outlook and Eudora very nicely handle dialing, getting the mail, and hanging up when done. I can't find anything in T-bird to enable this. If it's there, please direct me to it... I'd switch in a second if I could!!

I can only aggree with kevin.
One more time this is the link to the thunderbird calander:

It works.

I changed out of frustration with Outlook freezing on me and my 1mB .pst file corrupting beyond repair. There are a few gripes I've got with Thunderbird+Sunbird functionality, but reliability and data integrity are all I hoped. And I can be sure of further rapid develoments.

I changed out of frustration with Outlook freezing on me and finally my 1mB .pst file corrupting beyond repair. There are a few gripes I've got with Thunderbird+Sunbird but reliabiliity and data integrity isn't one of them. And I can be sure they're going to get better.

While integrated calendaring might be a nice feature, Thunderbird's biggest weakness is that it's interface is just like Outlook! Give me Thunderbird's under-the-hood features with Eudora's interface and you'll have the email client that I'm looking for.

Maybe my last post was too complicated.



Hello? There's a Calendar extension for Thunderbird! Anyone? Anyone?

I would not think that the current target of Thunderbird is Outlook users, but Outlook Express users. Big difference!

?!? I have used Calendaring for over a year on thunderbird. Tasks, ToDo, etc. Where's the beef?


One Thunderbird's biggest strengths is that it DOESN'T have integrated calendaring in it. Yes, it needs a good connection with a calendaring app, but certainly not integrated from a technical/code standpoint. Every major unrelated component you jam in a monolithic app, you diminish that app, sometimes quite substantially. Its usually stability and the user interface that suffer. Putting calendaring in Thunderbird is like welding a pliers on the back of a hammer. Another similar development team should create a quality kick-ass calendaring app that is tightly coupled with Thunderbird. When you try to integrate everything, you get submarvelous apps like Evolution.

Forget calendering, a huge percentage of the firefox users switched because their IE had become unusably full of spy/adware and they HAD to seek an alternative, until something similar happens with email clients, the change will obviously be slower.

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