Thunderbird market segments

Ben Bucksch ben.bucksch at
Mon Apr 26 22:22:52 UTC 2010

  On 26.04.2010 23:53, Kent James wrote:
> If I may summarize ... 1) there is no future in a standalone email 
> client like Thunderbird for the individual user

I don't see how you draw that conclusion. A desktop client is essential 
for privacy of the individual and private mail. With webmail (or IMAP), 
love letters, communication with wife & children, or business 
communication, are only protected by a password. There's something 
fundamentally flawed when third parties have insight into such 
inherently private communication. In fact, there'd be no privacy at all 
anymore. I therefore see open-source desktop messaging applications 
(incl. Thunderbird as one of the most popular ones) as a critical and 
indispensable for the communication infrastructure.

> understanding what, exactly, a standalone client offers over a webmail 
> client

Data sovereignty.
(And today, speed and desktop integration and GUI comfort.)

> So in conclusion, I think that Thunderbird badly needs a carefully 
> articulated strategic vision

I gather (in fact, you said) that you'd like Thunderbird to support the 
enterprise better. The great thing about open-source is that there's not 
one party - not even MoMo - which determines the sole direction of the 
product. (I wish that idea would manifest itself more in the actual 
day-to-day project organization, but that's another topic.) You are free 
and welcome to go ahead and improve Thunderbird for enterprise markets 
(hopefully you'd contribute the changes back to Mozilla). I did the same 
in many cases, and in turn profit from changes from others. It's that 
which makes up the greatness of open-source.

Many different needs some together and are fulfilled, sanding off the 
corners. In many cases, the requirements are from all areas anyways, and 
something that helps novice private users also helps the novice users in 
the enterprise, and things that help enterprises also help power users, 
and power users advocate at all other market segments. It's these 
"synergies" which make long-term successful products.

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