I was surely surprised this morning to wake up to news that Thunderbird 2 Beta 2 has been released! I knew that it would be sometime this month but I figured it wouldn’t come until next week.
- 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 think that a majority of the work was under-the-hood since there were 78 bug fixes since the last Beta. If you are still using Thunderbird 1.5 you might be surprised at the refreshing appearance that version 2 offers:
As we mentioned a few months back, Mozilla still plans on doing tabbed messages. Of course, I’m pretty skeptical that it will be able to make it in time because the Beta builds, which are now done, are supposed to represent all of the new features. Then the release candidates only focus on fixing bugs introduced by those new features. So don’t be surprised if we don’t get tabbed messages.
As for future milestones the two release candidates should be coming in February and then the final release of Thunderbird 2 is expected sometime this first quarter (it has already been more than a year after 1.5 was released). Then it looks like they want to get things moving again because Thunderbird 3 is projected to be released the first quarter of 2008.
Go Thunderbird! :D