Thunderbird Adoption Lagging

By Deane Barker on April 8, 2005

Thunderbird Finds It Hard To Mimic Firefox’s Rapid Rise, Says Report: A report has been released which indicates that Thunderbird is not flourishing the way Firefox is.

Thunderbird’s major shortcoming is the absence of an integrated calendar, the report says. A future release is expected to fill that void. Once calendaring becomes available, Thunderbird will be much more competitive, the report suggests.

Even so, the study notes that Outlook’s position is strengthened by third-party developers. With hundreds of plug-ins available, Outlook users may be reluctant to switch until Thunderbird offers a greater range of expansion options.

I say give it time. Lightning will help.



  1. Can it replace Outlook? When they have something that will work with Exchange and replace Outlook and be better than Outlook then it will be popular.

    You can get Outlook for free, almost. It comes with Exchange Server and any PocketPC, and of course Office.

  2. Dude, there’s a HUGE leap from…

    “You can get Outlook for free, almost.”


    “It comes with Exchange Server and any PocketPC, and of course Office.”

    In that gap is anywhere from $200 to $2,000, depending on what choice you pick.

  3. ok. maybe not even almost free. but my point is that Thunderbird should not be expected to do as well as Firebird. Firebird kicks IE’s butt.

  4. There’s also this problem with outlook express where, when you try to delete it, you get that scary message, “some applications will not work if you continue.”

  5. But you do not have to delete Outlook Express. I had used Mozilla Suite until they announced the end of development. I changed to Firebird (which I really like) and Thunderbird (which is not much different than Mozilla Mail) and still have Outlook Express and Outlook 2003 installed. (I need to test things in the Outlook twins – so I keep them around) — But then again, I do not use an Exchange server and all my meager calnder needs are met with my old Palm III.

    What I would like to see Thunderbird do is take my replies to emails and deposit them into the folder I am replying from. Also some form of archiving command would be very helpful.


  6. I used Thunderbird exclusively outside work. I do have a few pet peeves, though:

    1) I really miss the “double click the preview pane” to pop open a new message in Outlook. Not a big deal because there’s a big shiny Write button in Thunderbird… but I’m used to Outlook.

    2) It seems like I’m constantly hosing up something in the To: field. Outlook just has separate boxes for To, Cc, Bcc, etc; Thunderbird uses the same input boxes for everything but there is a drop-down box for what type of field you want to use. Once in a while I click too fast or hit enter or something and end up getting the Reply-To field and don’t notice it until its too late. I just don’t like the way they implemented these.

    1. I HATE the fact that any address Thunderbird doesn’t “know” automatically assumes you’re sending it from @yourdomain by default.

    There are probably ways around this, but I’m too lazy to figure them out.

  7. I find the most interesting thing about this thread is the unrealivity of the Google AdWords/AdSense. Google pulls ads for “Thunderbird” thinking we are talking cars. I find it sort of humorous. It is a technological occurance like this that can result it both unearned revenue potential of the delivering site (people do not click through as they are irrelevant) and wasteful ad dollars by merchants (for anyone that did click, was most likely not relevant).

    On a quality site like Gadgetopia with smart users, this “error” goes mostly unnoticed for people do not “click” just to click on the ads. But can be costly for advertisers or publishers alike many times. Regardless, AdWords is an effective means for publishers to earn money while delivering targetted ads to merchants.

    OK, back to the real Thunderbird.

  8. Keep in mind there are no paid ads waiting to be triggered for the free email client.

    No medium is perfect at hitting its target audience and experienced advertisers know it. There is an old saying in the advertising business: “I know that half my advertising money is wasted, I just cannot figure out which half.”

    This also shows that many Adwords clients are not very good and checking their own keyword setup. Although I am no pro at it, I think you can make sure that other words are found in the page before showing the ad (ford, car). A simple search for “thunderbird” on Google would show them there is another meaning. In fact, the Thunderbird page is the first entry.

    Finally, never rule out the benefits of “the happy accident”. There is always the chance that maybe I am a big fan of both the email client and the car and upon seeing the ads without the usual car clutter make me want to click one.

    Advertising is a very strange thing.


  9. the adoption of firefox is lacking because it is an inferior product. not to outlook by any means, but to things like Evolution (which i really like for some reason), Kmail (which i use consistantly), hell even pine/mutt … I have never lost an email sent to me until i tried to make a transition to Thunderbird durring the whole “Mozilla Firefox / Suite is better” hooplah going around. It would crash and drop emails in the inbox into oblivion, in my eye has poor filtering capabilities, etc, etc. I have and use a copy for a single unimportant email account that i will continue to update and when finally it becomes a ‘stable’ product to use (on an enterprise level), i will use it as my primary client. until then, i like the security and stability Kmail has offered for the last few years. (just my $.02 us)

    and to cbek: even if you wanted to you could not delete outlook express. No ammount of turning off system restore and changing attributes of the outlook dll’s will allow you to erase them permenantly. they just keep coming back, (not so) mysteriously.

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