Open-source technology specialist Mozilla has released the second beta version of the next major overhaul of its Thunderbird e-mail client, with improved security features and tools designed to make the product more user-friendly.
Thunderbird 1.5 Beta 2 includes a 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 for Thunderbird at Mozilla.
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 support, a built-in RSS reader, support for HTML mail, search capabilities, message filtering, message grouping, labels, return receipts and the ability to manage multiple e-mail and newsgroup accounts. The software runs on Windows, Linux and Mac OS X.
"The biggest advantage of our e-mail client is that is open source, based on the same platform as the Firefox browser, which lets enterprise I.T. managers look at the code and create customized Thunderbird extensions for their own purposes," he said.
Gaining a Following
Since its introduction last December, Thunderbird has seen some 13 million downloads, with many businesses and education institutions using it as their default e-mail client, said MacGregor.
"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 Thunderbird beta is available at the Mozilla Web site. Those with the earlier version will receive an automatic update.