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Downloads: Thunderbird 1.0

Many of you are familiar with Firefox 1.0, Mozilla’s official release of their answer to Internet Explorer. Thunderbird 1.0 is Mozilla’s answer to, you guessed it, Outlook Express with every bit the capabilities of OE and, in my opinion, much more. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind OE and I’m comfortable with it, but after using Thunderbird I realize that there were a few areas where I would have liked more control, more flexibility—in general, more options.

As with all of Mozilla’s open source programs there is a huge community of people who’s sole purpose is to make a product that is the best it can be, not for cash, but rather to make the world a better place. This is apparent in the feeling you get when you use Thunderbird; kind of like your using an OE from the future—it just seems a little more evolved. On the surface there’s not a huge difference the first time you use Thunderbird. It installs and sets up similar to OE, but soon you will notice the difference.

One of the big differences is the add-ons—this is a huge part of what the open source community does when they have a good program. Having add-ons allows the user to customize Thunderbird to behave and look exactly like they want it to. Another advantage to this is the ability to only add the things you want, keeping your Thunderbird simple, and streamline, growing at your pace—not some big program that’s stuffed, and bloated with features you’ll never use. Not to mention you can go out to Thunderbird’s site from time to time and see what new add-ons and extensions are available or going to be available for download.

I know change is hard and even though thunderbird sounds great you’re probably happy with your OE and why change from an MS product? Well you make a good point, but I have two good reasons to change:

1) It’s good to be diverse and not put all your eggs in one basket. In other words, I don’t feel comfortable relying on Microsoft for my every computer related need. It’s nice to know more than one way to do something—it helps you understand how things work a little better which makes you more adapt to change.

2) Thunderbird has an import wizard that you can use to import your OE settings, or you can ignore it and plug in your current email settings and simply set Thunderbird to leave a copy on the server so you can get it through your OE (if you want). If you have a Yahoo account you can download Yahoopops and plug that account in as well.

3) It’s good to give OE some competition (especially if it isn’t spyware and doesn’t cost us anything) it only raises the bar for us.

4) I just wouldn’t feel right not saying anything about the incredible forum that will help you out with anything related to Thunderbird or any other Mozilla program.

OK, here is a list of some of the features listed on the site, check it out, and like I said about Firefox, “You’ll be impressed”.
* Spam Filters
* View Mail the way you want
* Comes with it’s own spell-check (auto check, no third party software needed)
* Supports enterprise and government level security
* S/mime, digital signing, support for certificates
* Support for html
* Smiley faces
* Labels
* Downloadable themes, and extensions (add-ons)
* Can be used for RSS feeds and Newsgroups
* And even more

Hope you enjoy your new way to manage mail.

Download it here…

~ Chad