Regarding Fabien’s concerns about Ubuntu and Thunderbird, I can assure you that Canonical’s stance has not changed: we will continue to ship the brightest and best Free Software by default in Ubuntu. In terms of email clients, today choice is considered to be Thunderbird…at another time it may be another app.
Importantly, Thunderbird will be supported with security updates for the next five years as promised with the current 12.04LTS.
For those of you who prefer other email clients, there are many wonderful options in the Ubuntu Software Center.
Part of assessing our default application selection is assessing vitality and upstream activity. This will undoubtedly be considered in the case of Thunderbird in future Ubuntu releases, but let’s not forget something: just because a commercial entity decides to scale back their investment in an application, it doesn’t mean the project is going to die or bit-rot. What it will do is put some additional pressure on that community to attract new developers and participants and to continue growing and evolving the application. There is a great opportunity ahead for the Thunderbird community to grow, expand, and attract fresh new blood.
If you are critical of the news about Mozilla stepping back from investing in Thunderbird, why not join the Thunderbird community and help? From what I can tell, there are many ways of helping the Thunderbird community; see here for how to join the project.
In terms of the relevance of email on the desktop, speaking personally, I don’t consider Thunderbird to have solved all email challenges. There are many opportunities for improving, extending and refining Thunderbird, and I think the app could see some great work in terms of design, desktop integration, and email within the context of a social Internet. I really hope the Thunderbird community focuses on the wealth of opportunity that still lies at Thunderbird’s feet, and continues to grow and extend their community. While I am busy with my own things here, I am more than happy to provide any input or guidance on Thunderbird community growth and ideas if needed.