The Mozilla Foundation looks like it’s about to take another step in its bid to sharpen its focus on its Firefox browser and continue with its fightback to gain more market share against competitors like Google Chrome. According to a company-wide memo penned today by chairperson Mitchell Baker (and confirmed by Mozilla to be from her), Mozilla wants to once and for all hive off support for Thunderbird, the email, chat and news client it first developed in 2004 but effectively stopped directly updating it in 2012.
“I believe Thunderbird should would thrive best by separating itself
from reliance on Mozilla development systems and in some cases, Mozilla
technology,” Baker wrote in her open memo, posted on Mozilla’s public
governance forum. “The current setting isn’t stable, and we should start
actively looking into how we can transition in an orderly way to a
future where Thunderbird and Firefox are un-coupled.”
Baker notes that it is not clear whether Mozilla will try to spin off Thunderbird as its own open-source entity, or whether it will seek a business partner to take over the product; it seems too early to tell at this point.