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Friday, April 28th, 2006, 1:58 pm

Thunderbird New Mail Notification

Thunderbird with an Aqua-based theme called CrossOver

MOZILLA Thunderbird is an Open Source mail/news (most latterly RSS) client, which I have praised several times in the past. It is also my default mail application — the haven I found after experience with various other packages.

At present, I continue to use a mail notifier for Thunderbird which is rather stripped-down and is called the Mozilla New Mail Icon (project homepage). However, it lacks some of the power of other checkers — particularly those that deliver detailed information without interfering with the user’s current work (e.g. steal window focus). The good news is that the Thunderbird team is making progress and is bridging the gap between the latest of Outlook and the Mozilla family of applications. A good example of this is their calendar extension. They may even go farther ahead by incorporating tabs, which for mail clients is unprecedented.

In Thunderbird 2.0 there will finally be a built-in function which triggers an overview-type popup whenever new mail arrives (see screenshot). This way, users will not necessarily have to divert attention to the bulky application. When mail arrives in large volumes, such features can be very valuable.

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