While the battle between Chrome, Edge and Firefox is raging, there is another product which is in my opinion equally important for “the web” without much real competition – Thunderbird! Sure, there are commercial email clients, but they’re doing other things as well, and when it comes to email only, there is really not that much out there. I think that’s mostly due to Thunderbird solving the problem well enough that nobody feels the need to write a (serious) competitor for it. Yes, there are a few more open source clients, but I think it’s fair to say that Thunderbird is the dominating open source solution, certainly when it comes to cross-platform clients.
I’ve been using Thunderbird for as long as it’s been around, on both Windows and Linux. It’s becoming more and more of niche product these days as communication is moving towards instant messaging clients and web mail, but for me as an “old-school” email user it’s still the goto client for all my personal emails. It’s easy to use, works reliably with all email servers I ever dealt with, and since a few years, has both good search capabilities as well as an integrated calendar. It’s easy to overlook how good a product actually is if it “just works” in your day-to-day use.
The Thunderbird project had a bit of a difficult past where it used to be a part of the Mozilla foundation, but subsequently was separated and is now an independent project. It also picked up speed since then compared to a few years of being in maintenance only mode and the roadmap is getting quite crowded by now. I’m glad it’s around – it’s been a great piece of software which never failed me, and I’m hoping we’ll get many more years of Thunderbird to handle all our local email needs!