Thunderbird in Microsoft Store

Eric Moore emoore at fastmail.fm
Thu May 30 18:52:38 UTC 2019


https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/p/thunderbird

There appears to be a port of Thunderbird in the Microsoft Store. It 
requires "Windows 10 version 14393.0 or higher". The installation 
section states: "Get this app while signed in to your Microsoft account 
and install on up to ten Windows 10 devices."

https://github.com/jebeld17/Store-Ports_Thunderbird/9pcvbx66llqf?activetab=pivot:overviewtab 
says "repository is for the Thunderbird port project to the Microsoft 
Store via Store Ports."

This seems potentially misleading. Portable Thunderbird uses a different 
name and lists the publisher as "Mozilla & PortableApps.com (John T. 
Haller)". They even have a section explaining the modifications at 
https://portableapps.com/support/thunderbird_portable#modifications

The Microsoft Store port did not change the name and lists the publisher 
as Store Ports while claiming it was developed by "Mozilla and the Open 
Source community." That wording could be mis-interpreted as there no 
code changes made, it was just a re-packaging effort.

The Github web site states: "I'd like to invite you to download 
Thunderbird in the Microsoft Store at 
https://www.microsoft.com/store/productId/9PCVBX66LLQF." Again, the 
wording appears to imply this is a official release.

I heard about this in a MozillaZine thread where a user wanted to know 
if it was a official build or a scam. My first reaction is that the 
store entry needs to make it clearer that this is not a official release 
of Thunderbird despite saying "ported to the Microsoft Store".

What is its status?
What is "Store Ports"?
Who supports it?

This raises a related question. Many Linux distro's have their own build 
of Thunderbird. While they have some modifications I don't consider them 
a port. They're just a distro specific build, and something you can 
expect to get support from at SUMO and MozilaZine despite not being 
released by Mozilla. What determines whether an email application can 
legally call itself Thunderbird?





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