Thunderbird 2 Beta 1 A big milestone, Thunderbird 2.0 Beta 1, has finally landed for anyone trying to find a great email client that won’t cost them a penny. In a really surprising move only the English-U.S. version is available but I’m not sure if they will add more languages over time or if this is all they have planned for this milestone. From the looks of the release notes page I would say that they are only planning on doing the English-U.S. versions:

Windows: Installer
: GTK2 + XFT (no installer)
Mac OS X: Compressed Disk Image

For those people who haven’t ventured over to the pre-release version of Thunderbird 2 then you may be quite surprised at some of the things that have changed:

  • Message Tags: Create your own tags for organizing email. Messages can be assigned any number of tags. Tags can be combined with saved searches and mail views to make it easier to organize email.
  • Visual Theme:Thunderbird 2’s theme and user interface have been updated to improve usability.
  • Session History Navigation: Back and Forward buttons allow navigation through message history.
  • Folder Views: Customize the folder pane to show favorite, unread or recent folders.
  • Improved Support For Extensions: Extensions can now add custom columns to the message list pane in addition to storing custom message data in the mail database.
  • Improved Offline Management: Thunderbird (Linux and Windows) automatically adjusts the offline state based on current network connectivity.
  • Improved New Mail Notification Alerts:New mail alerts include information such as the subject, sender and message text.
  • Folder Summary Popups: Mouse over a folder with new messages to see a summary of the new messages in that folder.
  • Saved Search Folder Performance: Search results for saved search folders are now cached, improving folder loading performance.
  • Find As You Type
  • Improved Filing Tools: Recent folder menu items for moving and copying folders to recently used folders. Move / Copy again functionality.
  • Updates to the extension system: The extension system has been updated to provide enhanced security and to allow for easier localization of extensions.
  • New Windows installer: Based on Nullsoft Scriptable Install System, the new Windows installer resolves many long-standing issues.
  • MacOS X Universal Binaries

I’m still using the nightly builds of Thunderbird and have honestly never experienced a single problem. In fact, I would have to say this is the most stable pre-release application that I have ever used. Now I am just waiting for them to implement the tabbed messages feature and I’ll be really happy.