The long waited open source email client Thunderbird 3 is now released! Upgrading from Thunderbird 2 to Thunderbird 3 is very easy and almost automatically.
Once you finished installing version 3, you’ll see Migration Assistant page with explanation of 3 new features worth knowing about. In my testing as I’m using IMAP, Thunderbird show its IMAP synchronize option and offer an alternative to not synchronize to save disk space and data traffic costs.
First new feature is the new toolbar which is cleaner than the previous version, it’ll take some time to get used to the new buttons placing as the new toolbar doesn’t have reply, reply all, forward and delete button on it. You can switch to the old toolbar if you don’t like the new toolbar.
Second new feature is Smart folders mode, what it does is grouping Inbox folders, Sent Folders and Junk Folders from several accounts so you can get a consolidated view of all your email accounts.
Third feature is collapsed headers with improved message header viewer. Reply, reply all, forward and delete button is now placed here on each message.
Other than the 3 features that being shown in Migration Assistant page there are greater features in Thunderbird 3, one of them is the new search functionality which is awesome! The new search functionality gives much more flexibility on searching and filtering messages, it’s not only searching messages on folder that currently selected but it also search and filter on all folders in all email accounts you have in Thunderbird. What makes it even better is the search suggestion that pull down while you type in the search box, just like Google search does.
The new tabbed email feature makes it easier to juggle between two or more email messages as we already accustomed doing tabbed browsing with Firefox or Internet Explorer.
Another useful feature is the Archive feature. With this feature you can move old emails which you don’t want it to be stored in Inbox but you still think that you might be needed into an Archive.
More detailed feature list can be found here: http://www.mozillamessaging.com/en-US/thunderbird/features/